Photo: EPA
Abbas meeting with French President Hollande
Photo: EPA

French Senate wants Palestinian state recognized

In close vote, France's upper house follows lower house by approving non-binding resolution; Israel slams Irish parliament's decision to recognize Palestine.

PARIS — France's Senate has narrowly approved Thursday 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 153-146 in favor of a non-binding resolution "inviting" the French government to recognize Palestine and calling for an "immediate restarting" of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.


French parliament (Photo: EPA)
French parliament (Photo: EPA)


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.


The vote came as European countries seek alternative ways to restart the stalled Middle East process and followed an unopposed motion in the Irish parliament to recognize Palestine - the fourth assembly in Europe to do so.


Israel slammed the Irish parliament's decision, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon accusing the Irish parliament of giving voice to "statements of hatred and anti-Semitism directed at Israel in a way which we have not heard before."


Some Irish lawmakers accused Israel of genocide during the parliamentary debate on Palestinian recognition.


Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said Wednesday that Ireland is considering early recognition of Palestinian statehood as a possible tactic for kick-starting Middle East peace talks.


Lawmakers in Britain and Spain have already passed similar motions and Sweden has gone even further, officially recognizing Palestine as a state, in a move that prompted Israel to recall its ambassador.


Earlier this month, French MPs voted 339 to 151 in favour of a motion urging the government to recognise the state of Palestine as a way of achieving a "definitive resolution of the conflict."


The vote drew a swift and angry response from Israel, which said it would send the "wrong message" to the region and would be counterproductive to the drive towards peace.


Neither vote is binding on French government policy toward Palestine and the Middle East.


However, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said Paris would recognise Palestine if diplomatic efforts failed again and urged a resolution to the Middle East conflict within two years.


פרסום ראשון: 12.11.14, 17:21
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