Italian MPs overwhelmingly approve recognition of Palestine
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Italian MPs overwhelmingly approve recognition of Palestine

Resolution presented by ruling party, urging government to recognize state, passes by 300 votes to 45

Italian Democratic Party's leader Matteo Renzi talks to journalists at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014. (photo creditAP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Italian Democratic Party's leader Matteo Renzi talks to journalists at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014. (photo creditAP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Italian lawmakers backed a non-binding resolution on Friday urging the government to recognize Palestine as a state.

Italy’s Chamber of Deputies voted by 300 to 45 to pass the motion presented by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party, the Italian news site repubblica.it reported on Friday.

The resolution urges the government “to recognize the state of Palestine so that negotiations to reach a two-state solution are restarted.”

Friday’s symbolic vote does not change the position of the Italian government, which, like other European countries, still supports a negotiated two-state solution.

The vote comes two months after the European Parliament voted in December overwhelmingly to recognize a Palestinian state “in principle.”

The motion was a watered-down version of an original resolution which had urged EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state unconditionally. Lawmakers approved the motion by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions.

A bid by the Palestinian Authority to the UN Security Council asking for a resolution backing a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines and an Israeli withdrawal to those lines by 2017 was shot down in December.

Ireland, Britain and France held similar votes toward the end of last year. Sweden went further, officially recognizing Palestine, whereas Spain’s congress passed a motion that said Spain should recognize a Palestinian state only after its establishment is agreed upon in bilateral negotiations with Israel.

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 136 countries have now recognized Palestine as a state, although that number is disputed and several recognitions by EU member states date back to the Soviet era.

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