afp.com/France has a binding duty to recognize Palestine -MPs

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SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

French lawmakers, led by the ruling Socialist parliamentary group, will file a motion to recognize the state of Palestine following a similar move by the Swedish and the British parliaments.

Socialist MPs, led by the chairwoman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Elisabeth Guigou, are working on a proposal to urge the French government to make the decision of ending Israeli occupation and recognizing Palestine as a state.

“The Assembly calls on the French government to use the recognition of the State of Palestine as a final way to find a final settlement of the conflict,” the draft version of the text read.

The decision might be voted on during the next few weeks; however it is unlikely to change government policy immediately.

However, it would still be highly symbolic after a similar move by British MPs last month.

The French parliament is made up of two chambers, the National Assembly — which has the final say in drafting legislation — and the Senate.

Last Wednesday, both a far-left and a green party in the French parliament — Left Front and Europe Ecology-The Greens — filed separate motions to the presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate, demanding France recognise the Palestinian state.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Socialist senators, who are also planning a similar initiative, met Wednesday evening to discuss the lawmakers’ proposal.

Fabius announced in mid-October that France would recognize the state of Palestine “in time” with the hope that this “would prove useful to the peace process.”

Palestinian authorities estimate that 134 countries have now recognized Palestine as a state, most recently Sweden on October 31.

“Binding duty”

Gilbert Roger, French Socialist Party Senator and Head of France-Palestine Amity Group, wrote an article for Le Monde about their intention.

Here is this article:  

“On October the 3th, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced, as an unprecedented initiative for a western country, that Sweden recognizes Palestine as a state. The Chamber of Common of the United Kingdom enjoined the British government to do the same, with a motion of vote on October the 13th. 
This political demarche intervenes in a crucial moment of blockage of Palestine-Israel peace process, which manifestly came to a dead end. The long and intensive negotiations cycle, in which the United States have strongly implicated, ended with failure at first in the spring and afterwards in the mid-summer came to a deadlock with outrageous Gaza war. The diplomatic failure, once again, repulses the settlement perspectives of this persisting conflict, which let place to military compromise and other reconstruction conferences. Once more, one too many, it was the last straw.

In these circumstances, Sweden’s initiative is quite interesting. Until now, prevailing idea was the recognition of Palestine had to be linked to the negotiations. This argument, however, loses its influence. Each day that passes without a long-lasting peace settlement between Palestine and Israel diverts to a little more even the possibility of the existence of a viable Palestine state. What’s more, the map of the presumed future state is being cut off by force, as the colonization of the occupied territories goes on.

In Palestine, however, there is a State. Just as, by the way, in many countries of the world. Yet, “From now, the negotiations would not be possible or not have conclusion. It’s obvious that France have to shoulder its responsibilities,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius evoked during last ambassadors conference in August. So this is the time. It’s time that France undertakes its responsibility and recognizes Palestine as a State.

France, by virtue of the fact that it’s values and engagement about the Palestine-Israel conflict, should have the distinct honour to say “yes” in order that Palestine is granted membership, as a “non-member state status” in the United Nations, and deepen the movement and recognize Palestine so that it secure its existence. Before not too late. Following the reconciliation process, it’s urgent that Palestine is to be supported to return the negotiations as well. In diplomacy, even in the very diplomacy, symbols count for much. “

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