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France 'will recognize' Palestinian state
12-08-2010, 09:58 AM,
France 'will recognize' Palestinian state
France has declared that it will recognize a free and independent Palestinian state based on borders before the 1967 war, becoming the first European nation to do so.

Bernard Valero, a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that Paris agrees with the formation of a Palestinian state based on the exchange of land between Israel and the Palestinians.

Valero also expressed hope that peace talks between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel will resume.

During the past week, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have all sent letters to acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas, declaring that they recognize a free and independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

Human rights activists and international bodies are meanwhile vying for the United Nations membership for the Palestinian state.

The activists believe that Palestine already meets the required criteria for joining the world body.

Israel has protested the recent recognitions, claiming that the move is against the spirit of the Mideast talks.

Tel Aviv accuses the Latin American nations of ignoring the 2003 Middle East roadmap for peace, which said that a Palestinian state could be established through dialogue, but not through unilateral measures.

This is while the international community widely backs Palestinian demands for a state in most of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem), all territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The recent developments come only weeks after Tel Aviv announced that it would not halt its plan for constructing over 1,300 new settler units in East al-Quds and a further 800 units in the northern occupied West Bank.

Israel's decision has been condemned by the PA, the European Union, the United States and Russia.

In clear defiance to international criticism, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also stated that it considers al-Quds its capital.

The resumption of the illegal construction work has put a halt to direct talks between Israel and the PA, which began in early September after a 20-month break.

The Palestinians say that the settlement activities are being carried out to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its future capital.

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