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France considering recognizing Palestinian state

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PARIS (JTA) — France is actively considering recognizing a Palestinian state, along with other European neighbors.

“The recognition of a Palestinian state is an option that we are currently thinking about, with our European partners,” Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador to the United Nations told journalists April 22.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy met April 21 with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss “initiatives” to push forward peace negotiations with Israel.

Foreign minister Alain Juppé announced in March that French recognition of a Palestinian state was a “hypothesis we must keep in mind.”

Speaking to France 24 television on April 21, Abbas said “all the signs of these (European) organizations and states show that they are waiting for the right moment to recognize” a Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported over the weekend that German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to encourage Abbas not to seek unilateral recognition, when she meets with him in Berlin on May 5.

Merkel has come out recently against a United Nations resolution recognizing a Palestinian state.
 

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