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France Contemplates Unilateral Recognition of Palestinian State, Says President Macron

Paris, February 16, 2024, The Europe Today: Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday that the recognition of a Palestinian state is no longer considered a taboo for France. President Macron suggested that Paris might consider taking such a step if efforts to achieve a two-state solution encounter obstacles due to Israeli opposition.

President Macron acknowledged that a unilateral French recognition, while symbolic and diplomatic, would have limited impact on the ground without genuine negotiations. However, the move would carry weight in the international arena, reflecting France’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently opposed the idea of Palestinian sovereignty, emphasizing his refusal to compromise on full Israeli security control west of the Jordan River. This stance is in direct contrast to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

France has grappled with the issue of Palestinian recognition in the past, with lawmakers voting in 2014 to encourage the government to recognize Palestine in a symbolic gesture. However, this move had minimal impact on France’s overall diplomatic stance at the time.

President Macron’s recent comments mark the first instance of a French leader openly considering unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. The statement underscores growing impatience among Western leaders, particularly in the wake of escalating casualties in Gaza following Israeli retaliation prompted by an October 7 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

As diplomatic dynamics evolve, President Macron’s suggestion introduces a new element to the international discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing the urgency for renewed efforts to find a lasting solution.