France may support Palestine's bid for official recognition in the United Nations.
The French government is slated to host an international peace conference with Palestinian and Israeli authorities in Paris later this month, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe announced on a visit to the West Bank yesterday.
Juppe hinted that if Israel declines France's invitation all options are open for the vote.
Palestine is currently recognized by 112 member states of the United Nations and needs only 18 more to obtain the 2/3 majority necessary for official recognition as a state at the UN General Assembly this September. France's support would represent major leverage in favor of Palestine's race for recognition.
Also on the Palestinian agenda is the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian borders within the 1967 armistice line.
Although President Obama's Middle East initiative favors the recognition of 1967 borders, the US has already pledged that it will support Israel, and may potential veto a resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood. In addition to the 2/3 majority of member states, Palestine must garner the support of nine members of the UN Security Council. Both France and the United States are permanent members of the Council.
Other members of the Council expected to vote in favor of Palestinian statehood are Lebanon and Nigeria.
Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, indicated in an interview with Al Jazeera, that Palestine would explore other options, should the United States decline to support its race for recognition.