Is­rael-Pales­tinian ....

Pakistan Observer - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

coun­tries, the Arab League, Euro­pean Union and United Na­tions dis­cussed ways in which the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity could “help ad­vance the prospects for peace, in­clud­ing by pro­vid­ing mean­ing­ful in­cen­tives to the par­ties to make peace,” ac­cord­ing to a joint state­ment.

The meet­ing aims to lay the ground for a fully-fledged peace con­fer­ence to be held by the end of the year, but few be­lieve that gen­uine progress will be made.

De­spite a sense of scep­ti­cism that the French peace ini­tia­tive will suc­ceed where so many oth­ers have failed, Ayrault said the world could not “fold its arms and do noth­ing.”

He said the mo­bil­i­sa­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity showed that de­spite nu­mer­ous con­flicts and the ter­ror­ism threat, the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict re­mained “at the heart of our con­cerns”.

“Ev­ery­one knows the risks of this im­passe, there have been three wars in six years in Gaza and there is cur­rently daily vi­o­lence. It is essen­tial that we take ac­tion ur­gently,” said Ayrault.

“We have cho­sen to ex­tend a hand to the Is­raelis and the Pales­tini­ans. We hope that they ac­cept it”.

While the Pales­tinian side is back­ing the French peace ef­fort, Is­rael is fiercely op­posed to it and has loudly pre­dicted it will fail.

The par­tic­i­pants at the meet­ing dis­cussed ways to build trust be­tween the war­ring par­ties, as well as a frame­work for even­tual di­rect talks and dif­fer­ent eco­nomic ini­tia­tives that could spur them to ac­tion.

The state­ment re­leased by all those at­tend­ing also re-af­firmed sup­port for the two-state so­lu­tion. “The par­tic­i­pants... are alarmed that ac­tions on the ground, in par­tic­u­lar con­tin­ued acts of vi­o­lence and on­go­ing set­tle­ment ac­tiv­ity, are dan­ger­ously im­per­illing the prospects for a two-state so­lu­tion,” read the com­mu­nique.—AFP

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