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France Considers Recognizing Palestinian State

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (l) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (r) after their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Apr 21 2011

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has met in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy for talks aimed at securing French support for an independent Palestinian state.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting Thursday, Mr. Abbas said international support for a Palestinian state is mounting.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said earlier this week that formally recognizing an independent Palestinian state is one of the options France is considering.

Mohamed Shtayyeh, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team, speaks with VOA's Mohamed Elshinnawi about an independent Palestinian state:

The French news agency reports that after the talks between Mr. Sarkozy and Mr. Abbas, the French ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, told the U.N. Security Council that France and its European partners are considering giving formal recognition to a Palestinian state in hopes of encouraging the resumption of peace talks.

VOA's Mohamed Elshinnawa also speaks with former Israeli Special Foreign Affairs adviser Dov Weissglas about the two-state solution:

Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in late September after an Israeli moratorium on settlement construction expired. Palestinians have said they will not negotiate while Israeli building continues in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, areas they want as part of a future state.

Palestinian leaders have appealed to world powers to recognize an independent Palestinian state, based on borders that were in place before the 1967 Middle East war. Several Latin American nations (Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador) have said they will grant the request.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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