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France to Recognize Palestinian State in September: Official

Ramallah (Xinhua) — A senior Palestinian official said Saturday that he had received a promise from France that it will in September recognize a Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.

Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, who wrapped up a visit to Paris on Saturday, told Xinhua that France has reiterated that it will recognize the Palestinian state in September.

“France postpones its recognition of a Palestinian state because it is exerting efforts to convince the entire European countries to recognize the state,” Shaath said.

He noted that France is leading an initiative in the European Union (EU) which aims at activating the EU in sponsoring the peace process and adopting an initiative based on recognizing the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“The initiative also aims at requesting from Israel to be committed to the international peace reference,” Shaath said, adding that there are positive British signal to promote the office on the Palestinian territories to a higher diplomatic office.

After the peace talks were suspended on Oct. 2 due to Israel’s rejection to halt settlement activities, the Palestinians threatened to use other diplomatic options, mainly asking the world’s recognition of a Palestinian state.

“The problem is not our problem, the problem is with Israel. The political changes in the Arab world won’t affect the Palestinian leadership, the contrary, it will empower the Palestinian determination to continue their popular struggle against the occupation,” Shaath said.


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