French parliament begins debate on Palestinian recognition| MENAFN.COM

Saturday, 25 June 2022 11:09 GMT

French parliament begins debate on Palestinian recognition


(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA))   France's National Assembly, or lower house of parliament, on Friday begins a debate on recognising the Palestinian State, after the ruling Socialist party introduced a resolution calling for recognition.

If the resolution passes, as expected in a formal vote next Tuesday, France will be the latest of several European countries to recognise Palestine. The French Senate will then examine a text on recognition on December 11, parliamentary press sources said.

The Socialists and their allies have a clear majority in the French National Assembly, while opposition conservatives in the UMP party are nonetheless expected to vote against the motion.

Sweden, Britain, Spain, Poland and Ireland, as well as a host of smaller European Union countries have all adopted parliamentary resolutions recognising the Palestinian State. But as government officials pointed out here this week, neither the French nor the other EU resolutions are binding on governments and will not bring about State-to-State recognition.

The French resolution "invites" the Socialist-led government of Prime Minister Manual Valls and the President Francois Hollande to recognise Palestine, but that is as far as it goes in diplomatic terms and the initiative of the parliament is largely symbolic.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on November 25 that while the French parliament's vote on recognising the State of Palestine is legal, it is not binding on the government or the President of France.

"This should be clear, and it is so for everybody in as much as the Parliament or National Assembly may vote invitations (to recognise a State), the decision all the same comes from the President of the Republic, and him alone," Fabius said on "France Inter" radio.

"There is no order (from parliament). That is clear," he added.

"The position of France since 1947, and it has always been this way, is that there must be two States," the minister noted, adding that the reason there were parliaments taking initiatives to recognise Palestine is because "the situation is completely blocked over there." Fabius has consistently maintained that France will officially recognise a Palestinian State when one is created as the result of negotiations with Israel within the framework of a two-State solution. But he remarked that the international community is going to have to mobilise again, probably via a UN Security Council resolution and an international conference to provide "an accompaniment" for the stalled negotiations.

As Israel and the Palestinians cannot come to agreement, "there must be an international accompaniment and in that framework, when the time comes, recognition will come about," Fabius stated earlier. However, Fabius also warned that the continued construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem could jeopardise the emergence of a Palestinian State.

"The solution is two States but when settlements progress on the ground, there comes a time, and this could be coming closer, that it becomes concretely difficult.

"If we really want peace, we need two States, and if we need two States, the practical conditions must be fulfilled," Fabius warned.

The threat that Israeli settlements could derail plans for a Palestinian State is "one of the reasons settlements are considered illegal under international law and are criticised, condemned by the international community," Fabius said ahead of Friday's debate in Parliament.


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