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French lawmakers call on Hollande to recognize Palestinian state

France’s far right may gain ground in the upcoming elections. French parliamentarians are hoping President Hollande acts before he must leave office in May.

French President Hollande speaks in the Knesset, 2013. (Jonathan Sindel/Flash90)

French President Hollande speaks in the Knesset, 2013. (Jonathan Sindel/Flash90)

The French Newspaper Le Journal Du Dimanche published a letter Monday signed by over 150 French parliamentarians, in which they called on President Francois Hollande to recognize a Palestinian state.

The letter comes on the heels of January’s international summit in Paris, attended by representatives of some 70 countries, which sought to restart the peace process. Neither Israel nor the Palestinians attended the conference.

According to the letter, “the summit provided the international community with an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the two-state solution.” The signatories expressed concern over President Donald Trump’s hawkish views — specifically his stated intention to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — as well as over the recently-passed ‘Formalization Law,’ which retroactively legalizes illegal outposts built on private Palestinian land.

The parliamentarians demanded Hollande recognize a Palestinian state before his term comes to an end in May, in light of the fact that both right-wing and far-right presidential candidates are likely to gain significant ground in the upcoming elections, to be held on April 23.

“You said it yourself, Mr. President: ‘Only bilateral negotiations can succeed.’ It is therefore time for these negotiations to proceed on an equal footing, state to state,” write the signatories.

In 2014, France’s General Assembly and Senate voted in favor of a non-binding motion that calls on Hollande to recognize a Palestinian state in 2014 “as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict.”

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