Summit warns Israel and Palestine not to take unilateral actions
A Convention focused on starting peace talks between Israel and Palestine has issued a warning that neither country should take unilateral actions.
15 Jan 2017 – BBC
In a statement, delegates at the summit in Paris also restated their commitment to the two-state solution.
But they shied away from criticising President-elect Donald Trump’s suggested US embassy move to Jerusalem.
Palestinians welcomed the conference, but Israel called it “rigged”.
Neither side was invited to participate in the day-long summit, which was attended by 70 nations, but they were were invited to hear the conclusions.
This led the UK government to question how effective the conference, which it decided to attend in “an observer status”, could be in solving the conflict.
A Foreign Office statement said it had “particular reservations” about a conference “intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them”, adding that it had not signed up to the joint communique.
It also expressed concern about the timing of the event – just days before Mr Trump takes over as US president – and the opposition of Israel.
The summit ended with delegates warning that neither side should take unilateral steps that could jeopardise future negotiations.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said his team insisted on language in the communique which condemned Palestinian attacks on Israel, making it more “balanced”.
He had spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reassure him that any proposal following on from the conference at the UN Security Council would be opposed by the US, Mr Kerry added.
Israel had been concerned that the conference might set the terms for a final agreement and seek to get it adopted at the UN, a move it feels would undermine future negotiations.