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France - Palestinian territories - Israel

Hollande calls for Israel-Palestine talks after UN Palestinian state vote

Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

France’s President François Hollande called for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians “as quickly as possible” after the success of the French-backed bid for Palestine to have observer state status at the UN.

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“Direct dialogue is in fact the only way to find a definitive end to this conflict,” Hollande said on Thursday, calling for dialogue “without conditions and as quickly as possible”.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

France was among the 138 UN member-states that voted for the upgrade. Forty-one countries abstained and nine, including the US, Israel, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia, voted against.

Right-wing French MP Claude Goasguen, who is vice-president of the Franco-Israeli friendship society at the National Assembly, slammed the government’s support for the decision, claiming that it had dissociated itself from “the near-unanimity of the great Western democracies”.

The vote allows the Palestinians to file complaints at the International Criminal Court.

Ahead of the decision French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius advised them not to do so, claiming it would put the possibility of negotiations at risk.

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said Wednesday that the Palestinians were facing “intensive pressure” not to take Israel to the court.

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