France says conditions not right to recognise Palestinian state

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne attends a press conference at the Pine Residence, the official residence of the French ambassador to Lebanon, in Beirut

By John Irish

(Reuters) -France said on Wednesday conditions were not right to officially recognise a Palestinian state and that such a decision must be more than just symbolic or political posturing.

Remarks by Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne distanced France from Ireland, Spain and Norway, which said on Wednesday they would recognise a Palestinian state on May 28, hoping to accelerate efforts to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza war.

"France does not consider that the conditions have yet been met for this decision to have a real impact on this process," Sejourne said after talks in Paris with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

Paris has previously said recognising a Palestinian state is not taboo, but should be part of a broader effort to achieve a two-state solution between Palestinians and Israelis.

Despite lobbying by several European countries and some Arab states to recognise a Palestinian state, France has said that doing so would do little to change the situation on the ground without genuine negotiations.

"This is not just a symbolic issue or a question of political positioning, but a diplomatic tool in the service of the solution of two states living side by side in peace and security", Sejourne said.

French diplomats say symbolic recognition will be of no use, especially without real momentum towards a political process supported by the United States, Israel's main ally.

France has been working on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that it hopes to table over the summer.

It wants to bring the parameters for talks on a two-state solution back to the Security Council, while also underpinning clear condemnation of Islamist militant group Hamas after the deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered the Gaza war. The negotiating process has been moribund for a decade.

The U.S. believes a Palestinian state should be achieved through negotiations and not unilateral recognition, and has the power of veto at the United Nations.

(Editing by Timothy Heritage)