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Belgium Set To Recognize ‘Palestine’ State

The parties that make up Belgium’s federal government have agreed to recognize Palestinian statehood unilaterally, a Belgian daily reported.

The four parties reached an agreement earlier this week, the Le Soir daily reported Wednesday. They intend to submit a motion to parliament formulating support for recognizing Palestinian statehood, which the parties intend to pass in parliament and which the government is planning to implement.

However, the text for the draft of the planned motion does not set a date for recognition, Le Soir reported. The paper quoted from the text, which it says states that recognition will happen “at a moment deemed appropriate.”

If Belgium’s government adopts the motion and recognizes a Palestinian state, it will become Europe’s second country to do so, after the Swedish government’s recognition of a Palestinian state in October.

On Tuesday, the French parliament’s lower house passed a nonbinding motion encouraging the government to recognize Palestinian statehood, though French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his government would not change its policy, which is to recognize Palestinian statehood only after it is agreed upon in peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators.

The French Senate is scheduled to vote on a similar motion on Dec. 11, which is also nonbinding.

The vote in France follows similar nonbinding motions passed in the lower house of the British parliament and by Ireland’s upper house last month.

The four coalition parties that agreed to promote recognition are the Reformist Movement, the Flemish Liberals and Democrats, the Christian-Democratic & Flemish Party and the New Flemish Alliance.

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