PARIS Nov 27 France said on Tuesday it would
vote in favour of Palestinian non-member status at the United
Nations, boosting Palestinian efforts to secure greater
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
recognise 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.