French Senate Calls on Government to Recognize Palestine

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French Senators cast ballots during a vote on the recognition of a Palestinian state December 11, 2014.Credit: AP

France's Senate has narrowly approved a resolution asking the government to recognize a Palestinian state, in hopes that could be a tool in negotiations for lasting Mideast peace.

Legislators and officials around Europe are increasingly pushing for two states, disappointed with stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

French senators voted 154-146 Thursday in favor of a non-binding resolution "inviting" the French government to recognize Palestine. The lower house of France's Parliament adopted a similar measure last week but by a much larger margin.

The French government supports a two-state solution but says it's too early for outright recognition, as some senators argued. France, a veto-holding member of the UN Security Council, is trying to tamp out rising anti-Semitism at home and to maintain good relations with Israel and Arab governments.

In a statement regarding the resolution, the Foreign Ministry stated that the French Senate's decision reduces the chances of forging a peace agreement and sends a distorted message to the Palestinians.