Italian Lawmakers Urge Recognition of Palestinian State

ROME (Reuters) —

Italian lawmakers on Friday backed a non-binding resolution that encourages the government to recognize Palestine as a state, a move that underlines European frustration over stalled Middle East peace negotiations.

Italy’s Chamber of Deputies voted by 300 to 45 to pass the motion presented by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) “to promote the recognition of Palestine as a democratic state.”

Friday’s symbolic vote does not change the position of the Italian government which, like other European countries, still supports a negotiated two-state solution.

In a statement issued by its Rome embassy, Israel said it “positively acknowledges the choice of the Italian parliament not to recognize the Palestinian state and to have preferred to sustain direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Both motions were criticized by the PLO Executive Committee for falling short of an unconditional recognition of Palestine.

Ireland, Britain and France have held similar votes on the status of Palestine. Sweden went further, officially recognizing Palestine.

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