French FM: Moving US embassy to Jerusalem would have extreme consequences

PNN/ Paris/

The French foreign minister on Sunday saud that the Trump administration proposal to move the American embassy to Jerusalem would be a provocation with serious consequences.

“Of course (it’s a provocation). I think he would not be able to do it,” Jean-Marc Ayrault told France 3 television amid a conference on the Middle East peace process in Paris. “It would have extremely serious consequences and it’s not the first time that it’s on the agenda of a U.S. president, but none have let themselves make that decision. “One cannot have such a clear-cut, unilateral position. You have to create the conditions for peace,” Haaretz reported.

On Saturday, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas reportedly threatened to rethink recognition of Israel if U.S. moves its embassy to Jerusalem.

As reported by Haaretz, Abbas said that  “2017 has to be the year the occupation ends, the year of freedom and justice for the Palestinian people.”

The international Paris Summit is held today in the French capital, in order to discuss the two-state solution and the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which have been stopped since April 2014.

The summit has delegations from 70 countries. Israelis and Palestinians have been invited to hear the conclusions of the meeting, but not to participate in the summit itself.

As reported by Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, the conference opened with comments by French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault, who said that there was no other solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than the two-state solution: “I am aware of the reservations around this conference and the doubt about if it should be held at this time.”

Israel said it will not be attending since it claims the conference is against it, especially after the UN anti-settlement resolution, which the U.S. abstained from voting for.

However, Haaretz Israeli newspaper said that consultants from the Trump administration said the U.S. “strongly opposes the conderence,”  especially in this time, days before Trump becomes officially president.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Paris meeting “a rigged conference” which Israel would not be bound by.
“[It’s] rigged by the Palestinians with French auspices to adopt additional anti-Israel stances,” he said on Thursday. “This pushes peace backwards.”

The US State Department said Secretary of State John Kerry would be at the meeting to ensure “whatever happens in this conference is constructive and balanced”.
Spokesman Mark Toner said the US did not “want to see anything that attempts to impose a solution on Israel”.


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