Monday, October 31, 2011

France votes 'yes' on UNESCO seat for Palestine

Glancing through this AP story on the vote giving the Palestinian Authority full membership in UNESCO, what really jumped out at me was that France voted in favor. The article calls this a surprise. I suppose on some level it was, but France, no matter what party holds its presidency, has long prided itself on having an independent foreign policy. Sarkozy brought France back into NATO's integrated command a few years ago (and France took a lead role in the recent Libya campaign); however, this vote is a signal, if any were needed, that the Sarkozy government will follow its own course on certain issues. The U.S. reaction, predictably, was to call the PA's admission to UNESCO membership "regrettable" and "premature" and to cut off its funding to UNESCO, which a law requires it to do in these circumstances, apparently. Sigh.

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