France could recognize a Palestinian state

PARIS -- France will recognize a Palestinian state if its efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at an international conference fail, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday.

See Full Article

He told French diplomats that the conference will aim to bring together the two parties and their American, European and Arab partners in order "to make happen a two-state solution."

If this attempt faces a deadlock, Fabuis said, France will have to recognize a Palestinian state.

France's Socialist government supports the idea of two states, but had previously argued that it was too early for outright recognition of a Palestinian state.

Fabius' announcement comes as the Palestinians, buoyed by the successful Iran nuclear talks and the start of U.N.-mediated talks on Syria, have been exploring steps that could lead to a two-state solution including an international conference and a Security Council resolution that would demand an end to illegal Israeli settlement building.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, told AP: "The Palestinian leadership do welcome the announcement of foreign minister Fabius today in Paris in connection with the convening of an international conference in the next few weeks, and if things fail the recognition of the state of Palestine by France."

"I think the objective of this conference ... has to be to open the process that would lead to the end of the occupation and the preservation of the two-state solution," he said.

As for recognition, Mansour said, "France promised us some time ago that if there is no opening for a meaningful political process -- a collective process that would lead to the end of occupation and independence of the state of Palestine and therefore saving the two-state solution soon -- then they will recognize the state of Palestine."

He said the Palestinians wanted recognition from France "some time ago," noting that the French parliament has unanimously recommended recognizing the state of Palestine.

"And we hope that they do that," Mansour said. "If they are tying it to the political process, that is their thinking. But eventually if you believe in a two-state solution, then recognizing the state of Palestine is an investment."

Israel's U.N. Mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier on Friday, at U.N. headquarters in New York, Mansour said the nuclear talks on Iran and talks on Syria, Yemen and Libya have spurred the Palestinians to seek a broader international framework to try to settle the decades-old conflict with Israel. "This is a new culture -- and why shouldn't that spread to the Palestinian issue?," he asked.

Mansour said the Palestinians don't accept that in 2016 "the door is closed" and nothing can be done to make progress toward a two-state solution because of the U.S. presidential election in November.

He said that's why he has been engaging all 15 members of the Security Council, including Israel's close ally the United States, as well as the U.N. Secretariat and other "friends," on their readiness to take steps -- especially since virtually all members at the last Mideast meeting spoke out against Israeli settlement building.

Mansour commended Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "for characterizing correctly the settlements as illegal, illegitimate and a major obstacle to peace." Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Ban's remarks justify terrorism.

Besides a new resolution on settlements and an international conference, Mansour said he has raised the French idea of "a support group" of other countries to promote progress toward peace, an expansion of the Quartet of Mideast mediators -- the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia.

He said adoption of a Security Council resolution would be "a signal" that the council and key world powers want to end the conflict and see an independent Palestinian state.


Latest Canada & World News

  • School shooting victim 'brain dead,' life support ending

    World News CTV News
    A teenage girl who was shot when a classmate opened fire inside their Maryland high school is brain dead and is being removed from life support, her mother said Thursday. Melissa Willey told news reporters Thursday night that her daughter, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey has "no life left in her. Source
  • Bolton may push rightward shift in Trump's foreign policy

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- John Bolton, U.S. President Donald Trump's incoming national security adviser -- and his third to date -- is a divisive foreign policy figure who was an unabashed supporter of the Iraq war and advocates regime change in Iran. Source
  • China says it may hike tariffs on U.S. pork, other goods

    World News CBC News
    China has announced a list of U.S. goods including pork and aluminum pipe it says may be hit by higher tariffs in response to President Donald Trump's higher import duties on steel and aluminum. The Commerce Ministry on Friday called on Washington to reach a negotiated settlement of the dispute "as soon as possible" but gave no deadline. Source
  • B.C. man who ran airborne drug-smuggling ring pleads guilty in U.S. court

    Canada News CTV News
    SEATTLE -- A Canadian man who ran a helicopter-based drug-smuggling ring years before Washington state legalized marijuana pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge Thursday, after fighting his extradition to the U.S. for much of the past decade. Source
  • 'Life-altering consequences:' Edmonton busker jailed for assaulting man

    Canada News CBC News
    A judge has sentenced a busker to 18 months in jail for attacking a man he thought had swiped some of his change. The assault left Donny Crier, 41, a quadriplegic. Court heard Allen Dakota Cardinal was playing his guitar inside a light rail transit station in downtown Edmonton last April. Source
  • NATO trying to get better at predicting Russia's next move: Latvian commander

    World News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- While NATO is determined to improve its ability to predict the Kremlin's next move, a senior Latvian commander concedes that Russian President Vladimir Putin has managed to keep the military alliance guessing in recent years. Source
  • H.R. McMaster out as national security adviser, Trump taps John Bolton

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday picked as his new national security adviser John Bolton, a hawk who has advocated using military force against Iran and North Korea and has taken a hard line against Russia. Source
  • McMaster out, Bolton in as Trump's national security adviser

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump is replacing national security adviser H.R. McMaster with the former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, injecting a hawkish foreign policy voice into his administration ahead of key decisions on Iran and North Korea. Source
  • Steve Bannon blames Republican establishment for Roy Moore's defeat

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK - Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is blaming the Republican establishment for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's defeat, saying GOP leaders pushed pedophilia accusations against him. Bannon says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was too quick to back away from Moore, who faced charges of sexually abusing underage girls. Source
  • Woman claims she wasn't drinking before crash — she was texting

    Canada News CBC News
    Call it the lesser-of-two-evils defence: a B.C. woman is fighting the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's refusal to honour her insurance claim by arguing that she was texting, rather than drinking, before she crashed. As a result, a Kamloops provincial court judge hearing a pretrial application has ordered Angela Seeley to divulge both her weight, to help determine if she was impaired, and her cellphone records to the insurer. Source