French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday that his country will recognize a sovereign Palestinian state if it will enable a revival of peace, rather than being "merely symbolic.", SIA reports quoting the AA.
"From the moment we say there must be two states (Israel and Palestine), there will necessarily be a recognition of the Palestinian state," he said during his address to the lower house of the French Parliament, one day after British lawmakers voted in favor of a non-binding motion to recognize Palestine as a state that will exist 'side by side with Israel.'
The French top diplomat noted that he can confirm Paris will recognize Palestineas a state "when the time comes," adding that they want it not to be "a symbolic issue but something helpful for peace."
"If negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis fail... France does not flee his responsibilities." "The only question is: what are the rules and how it will be most effective?"
The British 'symbolic motion' to recognize Palestinefollowed an announcement by Sweden's newly-elected Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on October 3 that his country -- the first among European Union members to do so -- is set to recognize the state of Palestine, a move criticized by Israel as coinciding with the Jewish religious holiday of Yom Kippur.
The U.S. State Department also blasted the Swedish decision, saying it is "premature."
A small number of European countries -- including Hungary, Poland and Slovakia -- have already recognized Palestine as a state. However, they did so during the Cold War, before joining the EU.
Although the UN General Assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in late 2012 granting it a non-member observer status, the European bloc has not given official recognition.