French Parliament Votes in Favour of Recognition of Palestine
The French Members of Parliament adopted with a large majority on Tuesday a resolution calling on the government to recognise the Palestinian state, and through this to achieve a final settlement of the conflict.
The resolution was supported by 339 MPs, 151 voted against, with 16 abstaining, while 68 did not participate in the voting.
Although the resolution does not have a binding character, it is of high symbolic importance as it reflects the growing movement in Europe for the recognition of the Palestinian state.
The resolution was tabled by the Socialist majority, who see it as a signal for peace, aimed at overcoming the stagnation in the Middle East peace process.
The Embassy of Israel in Paris reacted immediately with a statement, which said that the resolution distanced the opportunities for peace and carried a wrong message.
According to Israel, the recognition of Palestinian state before any settlement of the conflict has been achieved, is a serious mistake.
In the city of Ramallah, the Palestinian authorities welcomed the voting in the French Parliament.
One of the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization expressed in a statement her gratitude to the French nation, calling the French government to implement the decision of Parliament.
Similar non-binding resolutions on the recognition of Palestine have been issued by the legislatures of the United Kingdom and Spain.
These coupled with Sweden's recognition of Palestine are signs of the movement that is gaining momentum in Europe.
Its supporters call for the recognition of Palestine as necessary for the revival of the peace process and the realisation of the two-state solution, which has been threatened by Israeli settlement policy and the growing conflict.
The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius assured MPs on Friday that Paris is to recognise Palestine, but without providing a concrete timeframe.
Fabius again raised the idea for the organization of an international conference on the Middle East, but without specifying date nor participants.
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