World Bulletin/News Desk
Palestine’s Ambassador to the UN on Tuesday welcomed a vote by France's parliament to recognize the state of Palestine.
Riyad Mansour also urged the French government to make the recognition official..
"The French parliament's decision is a great step in the right direction. We hope the French government will translate that into recognizing the state of Palestine soon," Riyad Mansour told The Anadolu Agency.
French lawmakers at the National Assembly – the lower house of the parliament – voted Tuesday 339-151 in favor of a symbolic motion to recognize the state of Palestine.
The French Senate is also expected to vote on Dec. 11 on a similar resolution.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Nov. 24 that the "momentum" in Western countries in favor of recognizing Palestine would continue to grow.
In late October, Sweden's left-wing government formally recognized the state of Palestine, prompting Israel to recall its ambassador to Stockholm.
The Palestinian mission in Washington also thanked the French parliament, calling on all European countries to recognize the Palestinian people's right to their own state.
"This is very important, before it was the people, now it is the state and legislative institutions that recognize and acknowledge that Palestine is there as a state," Consul Mohammed Rafiq said.
He said steps like this would contribute to the peace process between Palestine and Israel.
On Oct. 14, the British House of Commons voted in favor of a motion recognizing Palestine as a state "as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution," and a non-binding resolution was unanimously endorsed Nov. 19 by Spain's parliament urging Madrid to follow suit.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius earlier said that France would recognize Palestine as a state if peace efforts failed, referring to the U.S.-brokered direct Palestinian-Israeli talks that came to a halt in April.
The talks aimed to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the roots of which date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Palestinians, for their part, continue to demand the establishment of an independent state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Last Mod: 03 Aralık 2014, 12:24