Tuesday, November 27, 2012

France, now run by Socialists, to back Palestinian UN status

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Tuesday it would vote in favour of Palestinian non-member status at the United Nations, boosting Palestinian efforts to secure greater international recognition.

Frustrated that their bid for full U.N. membership last year was thwarted by U.S. opposition in the U.N. Security Council, Palestinians have launched a watered-down bid for recognition as a non-member state, similar to the status the Vatican enjoys.

The proposal, which is due to be put to the vote in the General Assembly at the end of the week, would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood. It could also grant access to bodies such as the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where the Palestinians could file complaints against Israel.

"This Thursday or Friday, when the question is asked, France will vote yes," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced in the French National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.