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France beat Argentina 23-21 in Rugby World Cup

French Senate votes for Palestine recognition

media Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shows a picture of minister Ziad Abu Ein, Ramallah, 10 December, 2014 Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

The upper house of France’s parliament on Wednesday voted in favour of recognition of a Palestinian state. The motion won a narrow majority in the Senate with the right-wing opposition split on the question.

The right recently won a majority in the Senate but the motion squeezed through by 153 to 146 thanks to the votes of some right-wing and centrist senators who broke ranks to back the Palestinian recognition call.

As in several other European countries that have passed similar motions recently, the vote is not binding on the government, leading the majority of the right to argue that it served no useful purpose.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

“The Palestinians deserve better that a paper recognition,” commented UMP Senator Christian Cambon, despite the fact that Palestinian leaders back such initiatives.

Recognition is the “condition sine qua non for the opening of real negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians, the motion’s author, Gilbert Roger, said.

The lower house passed a similar resolution earlier this month and Ireland’s parliament did so on Wednesday.

The French government has offered to organise and international conference on the question.

Tension rose in the Middle East on Wednesday with the death of Palestinian Authority minister Ziad Abou Ein.

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