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France Warns of 'Dead End' for Palestinian U.N. Bid

The Palestinians' attempt to get the U.N. Security Council to recognize their statehood is headed towards a "dead end", France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe warned Friday in a television interview.

Separately, Juppe's spokesman said France's suggestion that Palestine be given an intermediate status as a United Nations observer nation remained on the table, despite what he said were "Israeli reservations".

Juppe was in New York at the U.N. General Assembly, where top diplomats were in last minute talks to try to divert Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas from his quest to seek state membership at the United Nations

If he brings such a request to the Security Council it is all but certain to be vetoed by Israel's ally the United States, in what would be another setback to the already frozen Middle East peace process.

"We have said that this idea will lead to a dead end because the Security Council will not agree to recognize the state of Palestine," Juppe told the French i-Tele news network in an interview from New York.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed to the assembly that the Palestinians become a non-member observer state with a timetable for new negotiations with Israel that could lead to a peace deal within a year.

In Paris, a spokesman for Juppe's foreign ministry told reporters that this idea was still possible, but added that France had already "noted Israeli reservations" over the proposed compromise.

Source: Agence France Presse


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