Egypt’s Religious Endowment Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa welcomed the French legislature’s vote to recognise Palestine as state on Tuesday.
The French National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, voted to urge the French government to recognise Palestine, but the vote is not binding. In the vote, 339 French parliamentarians were in favour of recognition, while 151 voted against.
In an a statement on the ministry’s website, Gomaa praised the decision, adding that it was “an important step in recognising Palestinian’s right to self-determination and to establishing their state, based on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital”.
Gomaa called on the rest of the countries that have not officially recognised Palestine “to do as France did”.
The minister said: “There is no way to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as many conflicts in the region and the issues of extremism and terrorism in many parts of the world, without a just solution to the Palestinian cause.”
The Israeli Embassy in Paris responded to the vote by saying it reduces the possibility of achieving a deal between Israel and Palestine.
The French vote comes weeks after a similar vote by British parliament. On 13 October, British parliamentarians in the House of Commons voted in favour of recognition, with 274 for, and 12 against, in another symbolic vote.
The Swedish government announced its recognition of Palestinian statehood on 30 October.
Since 2012, Palestine currently has non-member observer state status in the United Nations.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced in August his intention to pressure the UN Security Council to impose a deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The proposed state would respect the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
In July 2013, the Palestinians and Israelis agreed to come to the negotiation table to discuss four issues, covering Jerusalem, the borders, security and refugees. However, after the seven month deadline for the talks, they collapsed last April, without reaching any solution.
Egypt’s foreign ministry has reiterated, on several occasions, Egypt’s position on Palestinian-Israeli talks: “That the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations are serious, that they follow the agreed timetable and that they lead to the establishment of an independent, sovereign, and viable Palestinian state based on the June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”