French legislators approve non-binding resolution asking gov’t to recognize Palestinian state

France's lower house of Parliament voted Tuesday to urge the government to recognize a Palestinian state, in the hope that it would speed up peace efforts after decades of conflict.

PARIS — France’s lower house of Parliament voted Tuesday to urge the government to recognize a Palestinian state, in the hope that it would speed up peace efforts after decades of conflict.

The 339-151 vote is non-binding, but it’s a symbolic boost for the Palestinians, amid growing support in Europe for two states. The measure asks the government “to recognize the state of Palestine in view of reaching a definitive settlement to the conflict.”

France’s Socialist government supports a Palestinian state, but has said it’s too early for recognition. France, a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council, wants peace talks to restart first.

Israel is committed to establishing a Palestinian state under a peace agreement, but says such resolutions encourage the Palestinians to avoid negotiations.

“We believe that such a decision will only radicalize the positions of the Palestinians and will send the wrong message to the leaders and people in this region,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said. The only way to peace, he said, is direct negotiations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the French initiative was a “courageous and encouraging step.”

The militant Hamas group ruling Gaza opposes negotiations with “the occupation” (Israel), the organization’s spokesman, Ami Abu Zuhri, said. However, he told The Associated Press that Hamas views such European gestures as demonstrations of “the world’s recognition of the Palestinians’ right in gaining their national rights.”

Washington reacted to the vote by saying Palestinian statehood can only come “through direct negotiations between the parties that resolve the final status issues,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

On Oct. 30, Sweden’s government became the first Western European nation in the EU to recognize Palestinian statehood. Lawmakers in Britain, Spain and Ireland have approved non-binding motions urging recognition.

Just Posted

Westerner Parade draws crowds

Red Deerians line downtown streets to enjoy annual Westerner Days kick-off

Trudeau poised to shuffle, retool cabinet with focus on Liberals’ team for 2019

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front benches Wednesday to install… Continue reading

Aecon Group joint venture wins Enbridge Line 3 replacement contract

TORONTO — Aecon Group Inc. says its joint venture with Robert B.… Continue reading

Conservative party pulls attack ad of black man walking over Trudeau tweet

OTTAWA — The Conservative party pulled an attack ad from its Twitter… Continue reading

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new international bridge

DETROIT — U.S. and Canadian officials touted the friendship between the two… Continue reading

Oilers sign first-round pick Evan Bouchard to entry-level contract

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Evan Bouchard to a… Continue reading

Lab-grown meat could be in restaurants in 3 years

BERLIN — A Dutch company that presented the world’s first lab-grown beef… Continue reading

Duchess of Sussex wears dress by Calgary’s Nonie to Mandela exhibition

CALGARY — A fondness for Canadian fashion apparently hasn’t waned for Meghan,… Continue reading

Destiny’s Child singer Williams seeks mental health help

LOS ANGELES — Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams says she’s seeking help… Continue reading

A Comic-Con without Marvel, HBO gives others a chance to pop

Over 130,000 pop culture devotees are descending on San Diego’s Gaslamp District… Continue reading

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game 8-6 in 10 innings

American League 8 National League 6 (1o innings) WASHINGTON — A record… Continue reading

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Man suffers critical injuries, Red Deer police arrest woman in pedestrian crash

A man is in hospital with critical injuries and Mounties have arrested… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month