December 2, 2014

In Blog News

French MPs recognise Palestine as state

France’s lower house of Parliament votes 339 to 151 in favour of symbolic motion to recognise statehood of Palestine.

Last updated: 02 Dec 2014 16:48

The vote is likely to raise domestic pressure on the French government to be more active on the issue [AFP]
French lawmakers have voted 339 to 151  in favour of a symbolic motion to recognise Palestine as a state.

The National Assembly’s vote  on Tuesday is likely to raise domestic political pressure on the French government to be more active on the issue.

While the vote is non-binding, Paris has in the past already made known that it plans to recognise a Palestinian nation “when the time comes”, arguing that a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict logically implies recognition of Palestine.

The vote will likely anger Israel further after similar resolutions were approved by British MPs on October 13 and Spanish MPs on November 18 Sweden also voted to recognise  Palestine as a state on October 30.

“Israel believes that the vote in the National Assembly … will reduce the possibility of achieving a deal between Israel and the Palestinians,” the Israeli embassy in Paris said in a statement less than an hour after the motion was passed.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Jerusalem, said: “When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked about the motion, he said it would be a ‘grave mistake’.”

“Subdued anger is likely to be their response.”

The text introduced by the ruling Socialists “invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict”.

Fabuis’ statement

Last week, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told MPs the UN Security Council was working on a resolution to relaunch and conclude peace talks.

“A deadline of two years is the one most often mentioned and the French government can agree with this figure,” he said.

Fabius also said France was prepared to host international talks to drive the peace bid forward.

“An international conference could be organised. France is prepared to take the initiative on this. And in these talks, recognition [of the Palestinian state] would be an instrument… for the definitive resolution of the conflict,” he said.

“If these efforts fail, if this last attempt at a negotiated settlement does not work, then France will have to do its duty and recognise the state of Palestine without delay and we are ready to do that,” stressed Fabius, without fixing a deadline for such recognition.