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Another meeting, another warning, no results

Jan 16,2017 - Last updated at Jan 16,2017

The Paris Middle East peace conference ended on Monday with a reaffirmation of the fact that only the two-state solution can put a stop to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a warning to both sides against taking “unilateral” steps that could “ prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final-status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, refugees...”

The one-day conference was not an earth-shaking gathering. Not that one expected it to be, but at least it reaffirmed — for the umpteenth time — the basis for any peace agreement: UN resolutions and the 1967 borders.

On the positive side, the conference was attended by some 70 nations, excluding the two “protagonists” involved in the conflict, and all were in concert against Israel’s settlement activities and in support of the two-state solution. 

It is regrettable that the two parties to the conflict did not participate, since without the Palestinians and Israelis, any serious talk about peace between them remains rhetorical, incomplete and ineffective.

Still on the plus side, the final communiqué re-endorsed all UN Security Council resolutions, including the last, 2334, which emphatically calls on Israel to stop all settlement activity on Palestinian land and declares any such activity a serious impediment to the two-state solution.

On the other hand, however, the communiqué has no binding effect on the sides, and as such remains one more attempt at arriving at a solution to this protracted conflict whose presence can only exacerbate the already chaotic and violent atmosphere in the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not only consider that the Paris conference is just ink on paper and will have no serious follow up, calling it “futile”; he is also confident that come January 20, he will be strongly backed in any illegal activity by the new US president who is clearly biased in favour of Israel.

During a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu said that “this conference is among the last twitches of the world of yesterday .... Tomorrow will look different and that tomorrow is very close”.

More confident, and disrespectful of the international community, than that is difficult to be.

And while the nations gathered for the meeting in Paris gingerly tiptoed around issues and failed to criticise Trump’s avowed plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, some said the wording of the communiqué will send a subliminal message.

Trump does not take explicit advice, how can one expect him to follow a subliminal message?

 

With few hopes of any result from the Paris meeting, one at least is grateful to France, and most of the rest of the countries participating in the conference, for at least attempting to revive the moribund talks and, most importantly, for reminding the world that the framework for attaining peace exists and is clear: UN resolutions.

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Comments

THERE CAN BE NO RESULTS UNTIL THE LEADERS IN THAT REGION ACT COLLECTIVELY TO DEMAND RESOLUTION TO THIS DECADES OLD CONFLICT. STRATIFICATIONS, FRAGMENTATIONS, SEPERATE, DOUBLE DEALINGS FOR MONEY AND PROTECTION AND LACK OF COHESION ARE RATHER CATALISTS FOR MORE CHAOS, WARS, DEATH AND DESTRUCTION. THE REGION NEED THEIR LEADERS AND NOT
MESNARIES. THE CHILDREN IN THAT REGION NEED HOPE AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY.

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