Leading EU Countries Support Palestinian Statehood Bid in UN, Poll Says

Survey taken on behalf of the global political web movement Avaaz shows majority of citizens in Germany, France, and U.K. support recognition of future Palestinian state.

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The majority of citizens in Germany, France, and the U.K. support the planned Palestinian statehood bid in the United Nations, a new poll indicated on Monday.

A new opinion poll published Monday shows that a majority of people in Germany, France and Britain – three countries that are critical votes in the battle over the Palestinian bid for statehood – all want their leaders to vote in favor of a UN resolution to support recognition of a Palestinian state when it's discussed in New York.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the UN General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2010Credit: AP

The survey, which was carried out online by YouGov in Britain and Germany, and Ifop in France, on behalf of the global political web movement Avaaz - which is conducting an online petition in support of a Palestinian state - shows that in Germany 84% supported Palestinian statehood and 76% believed Germany should act now to recognize; in the U.K. the figures were 71% and 59%; and in France the figures were 82% and 69% respectively.

Ricken Patel, Executive Director of Avaaz, said in a statement: "The overwhelming majority of the British public have spoken - now David Cameron must listen."

"The Prime Minister has a clear choice: stand with the British public, and 126 other nations to support a Palestinian state and a new path to peace, or side with the US government which continues to push a failed status quo, Patel added.

A woman taking a picture of a giant Palestinian flag displayed outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels September 12, 2011.
Giant Palestinian flag being displayed outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, September 12, 2011.
People posing next to a four-story high Palestinian flag which in front of the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
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A woman taking a picture of a giant Palestinian flag displayed outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels September 12, 2011. Credit: Reuters
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Giant Palestinian flag being displayed outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, September 12, 2011. Credit: Reuters
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People posing next to a four-story high Palestinian flag which in front of the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, Sept. 12, 2011. Credit: AP
Palestinian flag near EU

Avaaz says it is planning to deliver more than 913,000 signatories backing what it describes as "this new opportunity for freedom" to the European parliament.

Spain is openly backing the recognition, with Sweden, Portugal, Norway, Malta, Belgium and Luxembourg seemingly leaning in that direction.

France and Britain in turn have both said they would prefer to see meaningful negotiations on the basis of the pre-1967 borders with agreed land swaps, but have hinted they may vote for enhanced status for the Palestinians without such a prospect.

Germany, like Italy, Holland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria has said they oppose the move.

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