Spain Joins France in Plans to Back Palestinian State at the U.N.

Spain’s Mininster of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo gestures during a picture at the Moncloa palace in Madrid on November 27, 2012, during a cooperation meeting between Turkey and Spain. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

MADRID (TheBlaze/AP) — Spain’s foreign minister says Spain will vote in favor of recognition of a Palestinian state at the U.N. General Assembly this week.

Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo told parliament Wednesday that Spain would support the Palestinian bid at the U.N., because it feels it is the best way to advance toward peace.

As TheBlaze reported on Tuesday, France became the first major European country to come out in favor of U.N. recognition, a move seen as a setback for Israel. The timing of the French move seemed to be rooted in an attempt to sway other European nations in the same direction. In Spain’s case, such a notion took root.

The assembly is expected to vote Thursday on a resolution raising their status at the United Nations from an observer to a nonmember observer state, a move they believe is an important step toward a two-state solution with Israel.

Europe is divided over the issue. Switzerland and Portugal have said they will vote for the measure, but Germany is among the countries that have opposed the bid. Britain’s position remains unclear.

Palestinians say they are doing this out of frustration over the four-year deadlock in peace efforts. They believe an endorsement of their state will bolster their negotiating position.

Israel strongly opposes the bid, accusing the Palestinians of trying to bypass negotiations. The resolution would endorse a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel opposes a pullback to the 1967 lines.

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