France Set to Vote on Palestinian State

France Set to Vote on Palestinian State

A French Socialist Party proposal to recognize Palestine as a state will be voted on in the French National Assembly on November 28, reports AFP.

Because France’s president holds the ultimate prerogative to recognize states, the vote would be nonbinding. Nevertheless, it would be highly symbolic.   The French President, Francois Hollande, supported “international recognition” of a Palestinian state when campaigning as a presidential candidate.

The vote would follow a formal Swedish recognition of a state of Palestine and a British parliamentary non-binding vote doing the same.

On October 13, British lawmakers voted by a lopsided margin to approve a resolution to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”

The French proposal states that the National Assembly “invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict.”

France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Faubius stated that France will “obviously at a certain moment recognize the Palestinian state.”

Faubius added, “The question is when and how? Because this recognition must be useful for efforts to break the deadlock and contribute to a final resolution of the conflict.”

There was no immediate response from the Israeli Foreign Ministry. However, following the British vote, Israel stated that, “Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace. Recognition of a Palestinian state should be the result of a successful conclusion of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

On Saturday, the EU’s new top foreign policy official, Federica Nogherini, called for the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its shared capital with Israel, according to a report in The Times of Israel

Swedish and French officials claim that the recognition voted on is merely intended to help re-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which have been on hold since the Palestinian Authority announced that they were forming a joint government with Hamas. Hamas is designated as a terrorist group by the EU, UK, US and Israel, among others.