EU recognition of Palestinian state a 'possibility': France

15th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

European Union recognition of a Palestinian state is a "possibility that should be kept in mind," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday amid growing disquiet over stalled peace talks.

"There's no point recognising the Palestinian state on our own. It must be done together," Juppe told the parliamentary foreign affairs committee of an eventual recognition by EU countries.

"Personally we're not there yet, I think that it's a possibility that should be kept in mind," he said.

Faced with a lack of progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a number of countries have upgraded the status of Palestinian delegations, most recently Denmark on March 9.

Britain previously made the same move, following in the footsteps of fellow European Union members France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

Norway, which is not a member of the EU, had in December also upgraded the Palestinian delegation to mission and handed its chief the title of head of mission and the rank of ambassador.

Many Latin American countries have also recently recognised the Palestinian state.

Israel has come under increasing pressure in recent months over stalled direct peace talks, which grounded to a halt shortly after being relaunched by Washington in September 2010 over the issue of settlement construction in the Palestinian territories.

The stalemate and Israel's continued settlement construction have angered many in the international community, resulting in near universal support for a UN Security Council's anti-settlement resolution that was vetoed by the US.

Representatives from the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia are set to meet in Paris at the end of March in an attempt to relaunch the peace process.

© 2011 AFP

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