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French lawmakers to vote November 28 on recognising Palestine

THE LEVANT – French lawmakers will vote on November 28 on a proposal by the Socialist Party urging the government to recognise Palestine as a state, a parliamentary source said Wednesday.

The non-binding but highly symbolic vote would follow a similar vote in the British parliament and after Sweden announced it formally recognised the state of Palestine.

A draft of the proposal states that the lower house National Assembly “invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict”.

France will “obviously at a certain moment recognise the Palestinian state,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told AFP on Saturday.

“The question is when and how? Because this recognition must be useful for efforts to break the deadlock and contribute to a final resolution of the conflict,” added Fabius.

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favour of a non-binding motion to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.

Sweden announced on October 30 it officially recognised the state of Palestinian, a move criticised by Israel and the United States.

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 134 countries have now recognised Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date back to the Soviet era.

On Saturday, Europe’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called for a Palestinian state sharing Jerusalem as its capital with Israel.

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