PARIS - The French foreign minister says France plans to vote in favor of recognition of a Palestinian state at the U.N. General Assembly this week.
Laurent Fabius has told parliament that France has long supported Palestinian ambitions for statehood and "will respond `yes"' when the issue comes up for a vote "out of a concern for coherency."
With the announcement Tuesday, France - a permanent member of the Security Council - becomes the first major European country to come out in favor. It amounts to a setback for Israel.
The Palestinians say the assembly is likely 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.