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153 lawmakers urge France to recognize state of Palestine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
French President Francois Hollande (R) welcomes President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas upon his arrival on July 21, 2016 at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris. (AFP photo)

More than 150 lawmakers of the French parliament have signed a letter to President Francois Hollande urging him to officially recognize Palestine as a state.

According to the text of the letter published in the French media on Sunday, some 153 lawmakers demanded that Hollande conclude the case of Palestine’s statehood before he leaves office in May.

“France must demonstrate its determination to break the deadlock on this conflict,” said the letter in reference to the continuing Israeli acts of aggression against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, adding that France should reaffirm that “Palestinian people have the right to be granted the title of a state.”

The letter, drafted by Gilbert Roger, a French Socialist senator, added that the decision for the recognition of Palestine as a state, which the Israel regime continues to fiercely oppose, would be a “matter of respect for international law” while it would respect the rights of Palestinians for self-determination.

“Our actions must now follow our words. Mr. President, show yourself up to the challenge and do not miss this rendezvous with history, [by] recognizing the State of Palestine from now on,” read the letter, which has reportedly gained the approval of lawmakers from most political groups in both of France’s parliament chambers.

France hosted a meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last month with the aim of reviving efforts for addressing the issue. The initiative was generally welcomed by the Palestinians, but the regime in Tel Aviv criticized it as useless. More than 70 nations were represented in the event.

Israel has faced growing international criticism over the continued expansion of its settlements in the Palestinian territories it has occupied after 1967. The United Nations Security Council voted to condemn the settlements in a rare move last year. The measure, which came after former US administration abstained in the vote, drew huge outrage in Israel.

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