PARIS (Reuters) – French lawmakers are set to vote on Tuesday to call on the government to recognise Palestine, a symbolic move that will not immediately affect France’s diplomatic stance but demonstrates growing European impatience with a stalled peace process.
While most developing countries recognise Palestine as a state, most Western European countries do not, supporting the Israeli and US position that an independent Palestinian state should emerge from negotiations with Israel.
But European countries have grown increasingly frustrated with Israel, which since the collapse of the latest US-sponsored talks in April has pressed on with construction of settlements in territory the Palestinians want for their state.
Palestinians say negotiations have failed and they have no choice but to pursue independence unilaterally.
In October, Sweden became the biggest Western European country to recognise Palestine, and parliaments in Britain and Ireland both held votes in which they backed non-binding resolutions in favour of recognition.
Israel has strongly opposed all such moves. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Tuesday’s proposed French vote a “grave mistake”.