France to vote for symbolic recognition of Palestine - report

France to vote for symbolic recognition of Palestine - report
France’s National Assembly will vote on November 28 on a draft resolution to recognize Palestine as a state, a parliamentary source told AFP.

The highly symbolic resolution, which will not have any binding power, comes under the title: “The Assembly calls on the French government to recognize the state of Palestine as a tool for a final settlement.”

On November 8, the country’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said it was only a matter of time before Palestine’s statehood was confirmed.

“The question is when and how. Recognition is necessary because it can help to break the deadlock and contribute to trying to settle this conflict once and for all,” Fabius said as quoted by RTL.

However, the decision to hold the vote has come under fire from Israeli politician Yuval Steinitz.

“If Paris is coming under pressure from the far left or from the Muslim community, this would be damaging as it would set a precedent for other countries,” Steinitz stated in an interview with the Point website. "If you put Israel under pressure, you will not get any concessions from us.”

The vote by both the Assembly and the Senate will not be recognized by Hollande’s government; however, it would be a very symbolic gesture.

On Saturday, Europe's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, called for a Palestinian state to share Jerusalem as its capital with Israel. On October 13, British MPs voted to recognize Palestine, while Sweden officially recognized Palestine on October 30, which led to Israel recalling its ambassador from Stockholm for consultations.

Southern Gaza Strip (Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was scathing of the Scandinavian country’s decision.

"The Swedish government should understand that Middle East relations are more complex than a piece of self-assembled IKEA furniture, and the matter should be handled with responsibility and sensitivity," Lieberman wrote in a Facebook post.

That prompted a tongue in cheek response from Liberman’s Swedish counterpart, Margot Wallstrom, who said: "I will be happy to send Israel FM Lieberman an IKEA flat pack to assemble. He'll see it requires a partner, cooperation and a good manual."