SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- French lawmakers are set to hold a parliamentary vote on a proposal to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state.
The non-binding, though highly symbolic, vote is planned to be held in the French parliament on Tuesday.
The lawmakers are expected to ask the French government to “use the recognition of a Palestinian state with the aim of resolving the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict definitively.”
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, however, told the parliament 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.
“If this final effort to reach a negotiated solution fails, then France will have to do what it takes by recognizing without delay the Palestinian state,” the top French diplomat said.
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.