France to recognize Palestinian state at UN

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PARIS — France announced today that it plans to vote in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state at the U.N. General Assembly this week.

With the announcement, France becomes the first major European country to come out in favor, dealing a setback to Israel. The timing of the announcement appears aimed at swaying other European nations.

The Palestinians say the assembly is likely to vote Thursday on a resolution raising their status at the U.N. from an observer to a nonmember observer state, a move they believe is an important step toward a two-state solution with Israel. A Palestinian state would still not be a full General Assembly member, however.

Unlike the Security Council, there are no vetoes in the General Assembly and the resolution is virtually certain of approval. But France’s support could weigh on decisions in other European capitals.

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