France to back Palestinian U.N. status

PARIS Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:54am EST

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Tuesday it would vote in favour of Palestinian non-member status at the United Nations, boosting Palestinian efforts to secure greater international recognition.

Frustrated that their bid for full U.N. membership last year was thwarted by U.S. opposition in the U.N. Security Council, Palestinians have launched a watered-down bid for recognition as a non-member state, similar to the status the Vatican enjoys.

The proposal, which is due to be put to the vote in the General Assembly at the end of the week, would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood. It could also grant access to bodies such as the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where the Palestinians could file complaints against Israel.

"This Thursday or Friday, when the question is asked, France will vote yes," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced in the French National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

Abbas' bid seems certain to win approval in any vote in the 193-nation assembly. The United States say Palestinian statehood must be achieved by negotiation and has called on Abbas to return to peace talks that collapsed in 2010 over Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

"It is only with negotiations between the two sides that we demand immediately without any preconditions that a Palestinian state can become a reality," Fabius said.

France, a member of the U.N. Security Council, had under former President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to support Abbas if he opted for the upgrade option and broke from its closest allies last year voting in favour of giving the Palestinians full membership of the U.N.'s cultural agency UNESCO.

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Comments (3)
rgbviews wrote:
France knows that this is the last chance to save the 2 state solution. Israel has it’s head in the sand, hoping the 1 state solution can be made to work in Israel’s favour. It cannot. How long will a shrinking minority be able to conduct apartheid and survive?

The Palestinian bid is going to dovetail with official US foreign policy; 2 states, ’67 boundaries to start negotiations on final boundaries, and a shared Jerusalem. But the US is going to ignore it’s own official policy in favour of AIPAC policy. The US destroys it’s credibility each time it defends the indefensible.

Nov 27, 2012 11:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
The US is “under the influence of the the Israel Lobby” because Israel provides economic, academic, and diplomatic value to the United States. In addition to the fact that they are the state that the world voted to allow to exist.
Where are Palestine’s positive contributions to the world? Where are their sane leaders? What is their currency. Palestine has never been a state and thus should not be treated as if it has.

Nov 27, 2012 1:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rgbviews wrote:
NewIndependent:
Can you please elaborate on Israel’s “economic, academic, and diplomatic value” to the US?
I seem to remember that the UN voted to create a Palestinian state in 1948 as well.
Can you please elaborate on Israel’s positive contributions to the world? ….enough to offset the negatives?
Are you calling Netanyahu and Lieberman “sane leaders”? …Really?

Nov 27, 2012 4:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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