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Is the Paris Mid East conference Obama's exit line on Israel?

16 January 2017

Trump has pledged to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move which France's Foreign Minister said would be a provocation with serious consequences.

Foreign Ministers and other diplomats from some 70 different countries have descended on Paris, with the intent to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

"In the letter, which I have handed over [to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov] today, we ask Russia to take steps so that the United States do mot move its embassy to Jerusalem".

"To this end, it is hoped that, with the support of the worldwide community, measures can be taken that favor mutual trust and contribute to creating a climate that permits courageous decisions to be made in favor of peace", the statement continued.

"We hope that this news is not true, because it is not encouraging and will disrupt and hinder the peace process", Mr Abbas said on Saturday, speaking after he inaugurated the Palestinian embassy to the Vatican.

He said again that peace can be attained only through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Paris meeting is mainly symbolic, but comes at a crucial juncture for the Middle East, five days before Trump is sworn in as USA president.

The survey found that more than two-thirds of Israelis - 68 percent - support a two-state solution. Netanyahu dismissed the talks as rigged and the "last twitches of yesterday", a reference to the changing of the political guard in Washington and Paris.

"(The Paris conference) is like a wedding with neither bride nor groom", she said, referencing the absence of any role for Israel and the Palestinian Authority in contributing to its outcome.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, July 24, 2016.

The decision of the Obama administration to abstain and thereby facilitate UN Security Council resolution 2334 has considerably angered Israel and Netanyahu sees the Paris conference as yet another bid to isolate Israel.

Despite widespread perceptions that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all but doomed and that a growing share of Israelis support annexation of the West Bank, a new survey shows that a strong majority in the country still favor the creation of an independent Palestinian state. "We're not going to let that happen", he said.

US President-elect Donald Trump has promised to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Netanyahu responded by saying that the Obama administration had already harmed Israel by allowing an anti-settlement resolution to pass at the Security Council last month.

"While I reiterated the Government's continued belief that settlement building is illegal, I was clear that it is far from the only obstacle to peace and the global community must not forget this".

Despite the recent UN resolution condemning them, the building work continues on land that would be part of a Palestinian nation in a two-state solution.

"We can not continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter on December 29. "If it existed and if the Arab world recognized the existence of Israel, we would find the means to solve all the problems very quickly".

Is the Paris Mid East conference Obama's exit line on Israel?