France Favors Recognizing Palestinian State at U.N.

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France will vote in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday.

Fabius said his country will respond "yes" when the issue comes up for a vote at the U.N. General Assembly this week.

"You know that, for years, the French position has been to recognize a Palestinian state," he told the French Parliament. "That is why.. next Thursday or Friday, when the question is asked, France will say 'Yes' out of a concern for coherency."

Tuesday's announcement makes France the first major European country to come out in favor. 

Britain is also prepared to vote yes if Iran pledges not to pursue Israel for war crimes and to resume peace talks.

The Palestinians say the General Assembly is likely to vote Thursday on a resolution raising their status at the United Nations from an observer to a non-member observer state.
 
They say that the move would bolster their negotiating leverage on a two-state solution with Israel.

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