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France will recognise Palestinian state 'when the time is right'

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday that his country would recognise Palestine as a state when doing so would help to promote peace, stressing that French recognition would not be purely “symbolic”.

Addressing the French parliament, Anadolu news agency quoted Fabius as saying: “From the moment that we say there must be two-states, there will be a need for recognition of the Palestinian state, that goes without saying.”

Fabius continued: “The only question is what are the procedures and how to be most effective. What we want is not a symbolic issue but to be helpful to peace.” Thus, he said that any recognition would take place at the “right time”, for example when the peace negotiations fail.

His remarks came just one day after a historic vote took place in the British parliament overwhelmingly backing the recognition of a Palestinian state. The measure is unbinding and largely symbolic.

Last week, the Swedish prime minister said his government is also keen to recognise Palestine as a state, which would make his country the first EU member to take such a measure.

At the beginning of this month, the Palestinian Authority distributed a proposal to the 15 members of the UN Security Council to put a timetable for the end of the Israeli occupation beyond the 1967 borders by 2016, followed by the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The UN General Assembly upgraded the representation of the Palestinian Authority to a non-member observer state on 29 November 2012. The vote was 138 in favour and nine opposed, with 41 abstentions, including the UK.

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