Spain said it will back the Palestinians’ bid to win recognition as a state at the United Nations while the U.K. set conditions for its vote and Germany ruled out support.
The Palestinians predicted a historic U.N. vote recognizing their statehood this week, praising important new support from France on Tuesday and likely backing from other European nations seen as critical to enhancing their international standing. The United States and Israel strongly oppose the resolution, and there are fears it could torpedo
France announced Tuesday that it plans to vote in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state at the U.N. General Assembly this week. With the announcement, France becomes the first major European country to come out in favor, dealing a setback to Israel. The timing of the announcement appears aimed at swaying other European nations.
The Palestinian leadership will petition the International Criminal Court if it finds proof Yasser Arafat was poisoned. Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the Palestinian commission investigating Arafat’s death, said: “If it is proved that Arafat was poisoned, we will go to the international court.”
France invited Syria’s new opposition coalition to send an ambassador to Paris, but remained cautious on Saturday on the issue of supplying weapons, as inside Syria rebels said they took a key airport. Rebels seized control of Hamdan airport in Deir Ezzor province on the border with Iraq,
U.S. officials are relieved now that Syria’s disjointed opposition has finally succeeded in creating a united front. “What happened over the weekend was huge,” a senior administration official told CNN. “I think it’s fair to say that most of us were pessimistic, but the opposition did it.
France became the first European power to recognize Syria’s new opposition coalition as the sole representative of its people and said on Tuesday it would look into arming rebels against President Bashar al-Assad once they form a government.
French President Francois Hollande is planning to arrive in Beirut on Sunday for a three-hour meeting with his Lebanese counterpart President Michel Suleiman, As Safir newspaper reported on Friday. A high-ranking official at the Baabda presidential palace confirmed the report
Over the centuries, the region of modern-day Lebanon has been the territory of the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, Persians, the Roman Empire, Arabs, Egyptians, the Ottoman Empire and France, before Lebanon finally gained independence in 1943.
Lebanon’s politicians must stay united and guard against attempts to destabilize the country, French President Francois Hollande said after a car bomb killed a senior intelligence officer in Beirut on Friday.