Britain’s House of Commons voted late Monday in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state. The move is symbolic and is intended to increase pressure for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The British government said the vote would not change Britain’s official diplomatic stance. Tobias Ellwood, Middle East Minister, said the U.K. would recognize the state of Palestine when it would help bring about peace.
Legislators in the House of Commons voted 274 to 12 to support a motion from the British government to recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.
Prime Minister David Cameron and other government leaders abstained, and more than half of the 650 Commons members did not participate in the vote.
Grahame Morris from the Labor Party said that recognizing a Palestinian state could help break the impasse in peace negotiations. He also added that “any hope of a two state solution – the only viable solution- will have disappeared altogether.”
Nicholas Soames from the Conservative Party said that “to recognize Palestine is both morally right and is in our national interest.”
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine on territories captured by Israel in 1967, but neither the U.S. nor a couple of European countries followed suit. Sweden’s new Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced earlier this month that his government will recognize the state of Palestine.
The Moroccan Times.