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Israel Says No Recognition of Palestinian State Before Peace Deal

VOA News 21 February 2010

Israel is rejecting the idea of international recognition for a Palestinian state before negotiations have been completed.

Israeli officials said Sunday such a move would hinder the peace process and take away any reason for Palestinians to negotiate.

They are responding to a proposal put forth by France's foreign minister in a published interview.

Bernard Kouchner told the Journal du Dimanche state-like entities are forming in the West Bank, including a French-trained police force and new businesses.

He said he can envision the proclamation of a Palestinian state and international recognition of it, even before "negotiating its borders."

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has said he plans to create a de facto Palestinian state within two years, regardless of the status of the peace process.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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