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France: Possibility of Israel-Palestine peace growing distant

The possibility of two states, Israeli and Palestinian

Share on Facebook June 4, 2016, Reporter : Big News Network, Reader : 548

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PARIS, France - As 26 countries gathered in Paris to be part of an international conference hosted by France, in a bid to revive the peace process between Israel and Palestine - various foreign ministries urged both the nations to indulge in direct negotiations too, to arrive at a solution.> Big News Network

The peace initiative reportedly included the Middle East Quartet — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — the Arab League, the U.N. Security Council and 20 other countries.

However, with no participation by either Israel or Palestine - the participants at the conference believed that direct negotiations between both the nations would be necessary to arrive at a solution.

At the end of the meeting, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement, “The possibility of two states, Israeli and Palestinian, living side-by-side, in peace and security, grows more distant by the day. The two-state solution is in serious danger. We are reaching a point of no return where this solution will not be possible. The goal isn’t to force the parties to negotiate. But we are not doomed to do nothing, doomed to stay sit idly by as observers, simply expressing regrets.”

America, that has been making efforts to negotiate a deal between both the nations for two years now, too made a representation at the conference.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that as part of the peace initiative, leaders had discussed the possibility of convening an international conference by the end of this year - however, direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians would be necessary to achieve a solution.

Participants issued a statement after the conference claiming that they had “reaffirmed” their commitment to a two-state solution, but said they were alarmed with the situation on the ground, “in particular continued acts of violence and ongoing settlement activity.”

The statement said, “The participants underscored that the status quo is not sustainable,” calling for “fully ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967.”

Saudi Arabia meanwhile called for the adoption of the 2002 Arab peace initiative, which it claimed would lead to normalisation of ties between Israel and Arab states.

Adel al-Jubeir, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia said, “The Arab initiative from 2002 is the best proposal for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I hope wisdom prevails in Israel. The Arab peace initiative has all the elements for a final settlement. It is on the table and a solid basis for resolving this long-standing dispute. It provides Israel with a lot of incentives and it's incumbent on the Israelis to accept that.”

Prior to the conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said that the Arab initiative was an option Israel was willing to consider, but only if changes are made to it.

Netanyahu had said, “We're willing to negotiate with Arab states on the updating of the initiative so it reflects the dramatic changes that happened in our region since 2002, while still maintaining the agreed goal of two states for two peoples.”

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