Palestinians urge France to act on parliament vote to recognise state
RAMALLAH - Agence France-Presse
General view of the hemicycle as deputies applaud after the results of the vote on Palestine status at the National Assembly in Paris Dec. 2. REUTERS PhotoThe Palestinian leadership urged France to act on a parliamentary vote Dec. 2 in favour of recognising Palestine as a state, expressing its "gratitude" to the French lawmakers.
"We call on the French government to translate its parliament's vote into action," Hanan Ashrawi, a senior leader in the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said in a statement.
"We wish to express our gratitude to the members of the French parliament for adopting a resolution on the side of justice and human dignity," she said.
"For peace to prevail, support for the two-state solution must be more than lip service.
"If members of the international community are serious about the creation of the independent Palestinian state... they must undertake serious and concrete measures to end the occupation and to recognise the State of Palestine."
French lawmakers voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a state, following similar moves in Britain and Spain, as European countries try to restart the stalled Middle East peace process.
The Israeli embassy in Paris denounced the vote as harmful to a peace deal, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned last month it would be a "grave mistake."
"Israel believes that the vote in the National Assembly... will reduce the possibility of achieving a deal between Israel and the Palestinians," a statement said.
"Decisions of this nature harden the Palestinian position and send the wrong message to the people and the leaders of the region," it added.