France – (warsoor) – France convenes foreign ministers from major powers on Friday to put Israel-Palestinian peacemaking back on the international agenda and find enough common ground to bring the two sides back to the table by the end of the year.
With U.S. efforts to broker a deal on a Palestinian state on Israel-occupied land in deep freeze for two years and Washington focused on its November presidential election, France has lobbied key players to hold a conference that would aim to break the apathy over the impasse and stir new diplomatic momentum.
France has grown frustrated over the absence of movement toward a “two-state solution” since the collapse of the last round of talks in April 2014, arguing that letting the status quo prevail is like “waiting for a powder keg to explode”.
“We know that we aren’t going to get the Israelis and Palestinians to make peace immediately, but we want to create the right conditions to get the two around the negotiating table,” said a senior French diplomat.
The gathering of ministers in Paris includes the Middle East Quartet – which comprises the United States, Russia, the European Union and United Nations – as well as the Arab League, the U.N. Security Council and about 20 countries.
Neither Israel nor the Palestinians have been invited.
The meeting, the first international conference on the issue since Annapolis in the United States in 2007, will not touch on any of the chronic core differences between the two sides.
Its initial focus is to reaffirm existing international texts and resolutions that are based on achieving a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza Strip co-existing with Israel, an outcome some say is becoming unrealistic.
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