Officials from more than 70 countries met in Paris on Sunday for the Middle East Peace Conference on Israel and Palestine. The closing statement of summit, which was not attended by representatives of either Israel or Palestine, reaffirmed support for a two-state solution.
The declaration echoed last month’s UN resolution 2334 by calling for an end to “ongoing settlement activity” and a halt in violence. It also pressed for both sides “to refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final-status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, and refugees, which they will not recognize.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the conference. Speaking from the Vatican on Sunday, he called on attendees “to take concrete measures in order to implement international law and UN resolutions." The PLO has also expressed support for the closing statement.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu branded the meeting “futile” in a cabinet meeting, arguing that "this conference is among the last twitches of yesterday's world. Tomorrow's world will be different -- and it is very near."
Echoing the sentiments of their leader, Israelis took to Twitter in force to make fun of the Middle East Peace Conference, which was labeled "a fuss about nothing" in Israeli media.
Israeli officials were among those who took to Twitter to satirize the summit, including Israeli Foreign Office spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon:
#ParisPeaceConference turned as flat as a failed soufflé. A big show is no replacement for direct negotiations between the parties.— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) January 15, 2017
Arab-Israeli diplomat George Deek:
Many others also joined in the joyful bashing of the peace efforts:
Dear #ParisPeaceConference,— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) January 15, 2017
We Israelis border with Syria.
We seen how you've dealt with that.
With respect, stick your proposals.
Following the conference, attendees Britain and Australia have both distanced themselves from its conclusions.
The British Foreign Office has refused to endorse the concluding statement, saying: “We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Australian foreign minister has said: "While the Australian Government was represented at the Paris conference, this does not mean we agree with every element of the final statement.”
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