UK voices 'reservations' over Mideast summit, refuses to sign statement

By AFP
Published: January 16, 2017
SHARES
Email
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech at the Middle East peace conference in Paris on January 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech at the Middle East peace conference in Paris on January 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: Britain cited “reservations” over Sunday’s Middle East peace conference and refused to sign a joint statement that called for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said the British had “particular reservations” about the meeting in Paris taking place without Israeli or Palestinian representatives, “just days before the transition to a new American president”.

Palestinians welcome Paris summit statement: PLO

Britain had therefore attended the talks as an observer only, the spokesperson said. The British refusal to send a high-level delegation to Paris was widely viewed as a sign of London’s determination to stay close to Donald Trump’s incoming administration.

Most major EU countries sent their foreign minister to the conference, but Britain’s Boris Johnson did not attend. The Foreign Office spokesperson said Britain “will look forward to working with the parties, the new US administration and other countries represented in this conference to make progress in 2017 and beyond.”

Kerry farewell tour starts in Vietnam in final Asia push

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault warned on Sunday that if Trump carried out his campaign pledge to move the US embassy in Israel to the contested city of Jerusalem, it would have “extremely serious consequences”.

The Palestinians have warned that such a move could seriously threaten their chances of obtaining an independent state.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (1)

  • Powayman
    Jan 16, 2017 - 9:46PM

    Reality check. Everyone knows your not going to have peace until Israel, Hamas, and PLO agree to work out a deal. Right now Hamas doesn’t believe Israel has a right to exist and doesn’t even recognize that PLO is the leader of Palestine – bet that doesn’t get much conversation at the “Mideast summit”. Peace isn’t going to be imposed by the outside World and peace isn’t going forward until Hamas and PLO figure out who’s in charge. Recommend

More in World