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France has expressed a desire to recognize “Palestine”, the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to France claimed on Sunday.

The envoy, Salman Al-Harfi, told the official PA news agency Wafa that France wants the move to take place with other European countries, because it will safeguard the peace process.

“The Palestinian leadership aspires for France to recognize a state of Palestine, assume its role in the Middle East and form the backbone of the supportive European position,” he added.

Several European countries have in recent years recognized the state of “Palestine”, but these were symbolic moves that have little, if any, actual diplomatic effect.

Among the countries to have recognized “Palestine” are Spain, Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Greece and Portugal. In addition, the PA inaugurated an embassy in the Vatican last January.

France has in the past said it would recognize “Palestine” if its efforts to try to break the deadlock between Israelis and Palestinians fail.

French Socialist lawmakers were in late 2014 preparing to submit a motion to parliament to recognize “Palestine” as well. At the time, then-Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country would not hold a vote to recognize the PA as the "state of Palestine".