French MPs Call for Vote on Recognition of Palestine

Move follows recognition of Palestinian state by Sweden and similar vote in the British parliament.

Haaretz
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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during a meeting, at the Prime Ministers office in Jerusalem, Israel, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during a meeting, at the Prime Ministers office in Jerusalem, Israel, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013.Credit: AP
Haaretz

French Socialist lawmakers are preparing a parliamentary motion calling on the government to recognize Palestine as a state, according to sources quoted by AFP.

British MPs passed a similar vote last month and Sweden officially recognized Palestine last week.

"The [National] Assembly asks the French government to use recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to obtain a final settlement of the conflict," reads the provisional motion seen by AFP.

While approval of the motion it is unlikely to change government policy in the short term, it would be of great symbolic significance. The vote in the lower house could take place within weeks, according to the sources.

The proposal is due to be discussed next week at a meeting with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Socialist senators who are working on a similar initiative.

Fabius acknowledged last month that Paris would eventually have to recognize Palestine, but wanted to choose the best moment to do so for the move to have a real impact.

Israel recalled its ambassador to Sweden after that country voted to recognize the Palestinian state. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called Sweden's move a "very unfortunate decision" that only strengthens "radical and intransigent" Palestinian elements".

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