ROME: Italy says it will vote to recognize a Palestinian state in the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The decision was announced Thursday, hours before the vote in New York that would make Palestine a non-member observer state.
Premier Mario Monti telephoned President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to inform him of the decision. He also phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to assure him that the decision does not mean any weakening of Italy's traditional friendship with Israel.
The Italian government says the decision is part of its commitment to work for a two-state solution.