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Palestinian territories – Reply given by Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly (27 November 2012)

You ask me about the vote France is going to cast this Thursday or Friday on recognition of the Palestinian state. We’re going to vote both consistently and clear-sightedly. As you know, for years and years France’s constant position has been to recognize the Palestinian state. It was true in 1982, with the speech François Mitterrand delivered in the Knesset. It was true last year, when France voted in favour of recognizing Palestine at UNESCO. And it was true – as you’ve recalled – in the presidential campaign, because in his 59th commitment, François Hollande, the candidate who became president, made the same pledge. That’s why I’m answering you directly: on Thursday or Friday, when the question is asked, France will vote yes, out of a concern for consistency.

But at the same time, ladies and gentlemen deputies, we must be very clear-sighted about this, on the one hand because the text is currently under discussion, and I spoke to President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday morning, and on the other hand because – let’s not hide the fact – the time when the question is going to be asked is a very delicate time. This is true because the ceasefire is extremely fragile, because there are Israeli elections and because there’s a change in the composition of the American administration. And also, anyway, only through the unconditional and immediate negotiation we’re calling for between the two sides will it be possible to achieve a Palestinian state in reality.

If we’re both consistent and clear-sighted, then we’ll be working for peace.


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