France to Back PA’s ‘State’ Bid, Britain Unsure

November 27, 2012  

France will vote in favor of the Palestinian Authority’s bid for “non-member observer state” status at the United Nations General Assembly, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told parliament, according to the AFP news agency.

Israeli sources said the French decision “comes as no surprise.”

“We knew that France was inclined to vote for this resolution, so we expected as much,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP. He noted that the PA bid “is in fundamental breach with existing agreements,” which call for negotiations leading to an agreement to precede UN recognition.

Britain remains undecided how it will vote, with British UN ambassador Mark Lyall Grant saying Tuesday that the decision will be made “in due time.”

Lyall Grant said Britain believes the PA should delay its request, but is still considering how to vote. “We have been engaging with them intensively, both here in New York and in Ramallah,” he said.

Britain, Germany, and Canada have warned the PA that its bid for upgraded UN status could backfire, taking it further from the creation of a new Arab state.

Palmor expressed similar concerns. “The chances of resuming peace talks after this vote will be even dimmer, as the Palestinians will certainly not want to negotiate anything that is included in the text, as they have already jumped to the last phase without going through the necessary preliminaries,” he warned.

The PA is believed to have an easy majority for its request, but the change in status has no real effect.

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