Friday, 14 November 2014

Spain to vote on Palestinian state recognition

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Spain's parliament plans to hold a largely symbolic vote next week on a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state.

The non-binding resolution, presented by the Socialist opposition party, will be debated in parliament on Tuesday, and it appears the governing conservatives will support it.

It would follow moves in other European countries intended to increase pressure for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Wednesday, France's governing Socialists said the country's National Assembly will vote this month on a largely symbolic resolution in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state, hoping it could help end the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Approval by the lower and more powerful chamber of parliament would send a signal to President Francois Hollande's Socialist government, which has final say.

An official with the Socialist group at the Assembly said Wednesday that the vote has been scheduled for November 28. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Last month, British lawmakers voted in favor of a similar, symbolic vote and Sweden became the biggest Western European country to outright recognize a Palestinian state — prompting a protest from Israel.

The efforts in Europe reflect growing international impatience with Israel's nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

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