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France Will Back Palestinian Bid for Enhanced UN Status

11/27/2012 | 11:36am US/Eastern

PARIS--France will back the Palestinian Authority's bid for enhanced United Nations status at a U.N. General Assembly vote later this week, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Tuesday.

"For several years, France's official position has been to recognize the Palestinian state...When the question will be asked, France will answer "Yes" for consistency's sake," Mr. Fabius said, answering a question in Parliament.

The Palestinian Authority has submitted a draft resolution to the U.N. General Assembly that would recognize the Palestinians as a nonmember state of the U.N., a move that could have far-reaching implications for the 65-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The vote is set for Thursday.

Since 132 nations have already recognized the territory as a sovereign state, with some having exchanged ambassadors, a simple majority vote of 97 countries is all but certain.

Despite backing the Palestinian cause, Mr. Fabius warned that the text to be submitted to the U.N. is still being discussed, and added that the current moment--with a fragile ceasefire after last week's conflict in Gaza --is "extremely delicate."

"It's only by an unconditional and immediate negotiation between the two parties that we'll be able to achieve the realization of a Palestinian state," Mr. Fabius said.

Write to Gabriele Parussini at gabriele.parussini@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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