Paris, 10 Shafar 1436/3 December 2014 (MINA) – French lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a motion to recognize Palestine as an independent state.
The motion, urging the French government to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, was backed by a majority of 339 lawmakers while 151 members voted against.
French lawmakers had earlier called on the government to back the cause in order to reach a definitive resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, Press TV quoted by Mi’raj Islamci News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The Israeli embassy in Paris immediately reacted to the motion, saying in a statement that “Israel believes that the vote in the National Assembly…will reduce the possibility of achieving a deal between Israel and the Palestinians.”
“Decisions of this nature harden the Palestinian position and send the wrong message to the people and the leaders of the region,” the statement added.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the parliament before the vote that the government would not be bound by the vote. He also added that Paris would recognize an independent Palestine if a final round of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians fails to bear any results.
The last round of talks between Palestinians and the Israeli regime reached a deadlock in April, when Tel Aviv refused to free the last group of 104 Palestinian prisoners in late March as part of a deal for the resumption of the US-sponsored negotiations.
The French parliament’s vote over the recognition of Palestine as a state comes hot on the heels of a similar resolution approved by a number of European nations over the past months.
On November 18, Spanish lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution on recognizing a Palestinian state. Britain and Ireland also passed similar non-binding motions.
On October 30, Sweden went a step further and officially recognized the state of Palestine, drawing stringent criticism from Israel and the United States.
On November 29, 2012, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds. (T/P007/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)