Sunday, November 06, 2011

Palestine: Vous n'aurez pas notre vote

Palestine: You will not have our vote.

Sort of.

The French government has announced it will not support Palestine's effort to gain statehood recognition through the United Nations. The Washington Post notes that there is some justified confusion because France supported a similar request just days ago with UNESCO.
France, like many other nations, walks a tightrope between support for the Palestinians and for Israel, and always pushes to play a decisive role in the peace process. The statement reiterated Paris’ call for relaunching direct negotiations “without delay.”
But the ministry said it had decided to abstain on any Security Council vote, noting that the measure has no chance of passing because of the promised American veto.
Does that mean France is using the U.S. as a sort-of shield to prevent any criticism of its decision? If the answer is yes, then Britain is doing the same thing

The French will not support statehood, but one gets the sense that Elysee Palace is tacitly endorsing the Palestinians. Reuters picks up on that theme in this story.
France would abstain in a vote on a Palestinian request for full membership of the United Nations, the French foreign ministry said on Friday.

While France regarded the quest for Palestinian statehood as legitimate, the request for full U.N. membership had no chance of being accepted, notably because of U.S. opposition, the ministry said in an electronic media briefing.
“That is why, during a (U.N.) admissions committee meeting, France’s permanent representative at the United Nations said France would have no choice but to abstain in the Security Council,” it said.

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