At Paris meeting, major powers warn Trump over Middle East peace

AFP photo

Major powers signaled to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians is the only solution to the problems in the Holy Land, with France warning him that plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem could derail peace efforts. 

Some 70 countries, including key European and Arab states as well as the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, gathered in Paris on Jan. 15 for a meeting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected as "futile." 

Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians will be represented in the conference. 

Turkey is being represented at the summit by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

Trump's choice for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is a hardliner who says he looks forward to working from "Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem."   

The city's status is one of the thorniest issues. Trump has also vowed to pursue more pro-Israeli policies. 

Opening the Paris meeting, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the international community wanted to "forcefully reiterate that the two-state solution is the only solution possible" to the seven-decade-old conflict.

In a TV interview later, Ayrault warned that moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would have "extremely serious consequences" and predicted Trump would find it impossible to do so.

"When you are president of the United States, you cannot take such a stubborn and such a unilateral view on this issue. You have to try to create the conditions for peace," he told France 3 TV, as quoted by AFP.

Paris has said the meeting will not impose anything on Israel or the Palestinians and that only direct negotiations can resolve the conflict. 

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