PARIS — The creation of a Palestinian state remains the only acceptable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an international meeting in Paris concluded Sunday.
The meeting of about 75 nations and international organizations convened to express frustration at the stalemate in peacemaking.
A resolution by the participants reaffirmed that Israel’s 1967 borders should be the basis for any settlement, offered incentives to both sides and told them to avoid steps that work against that solution. It welcomed the recent United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements, but didn’t call for follow-up action by the U.N.
“We have the basis to continue working with the parties, and with the new U.S. administration which we hope to show that the world is united in seeking peace,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said at the end of the conference. “More than an organization, this meeting is about a state of mind.”
The participants hoped to revive Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking and seek an end Israel’s half-century occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, where the Palestinians hope to establish a state. The last round of U.S.-led negotiations broke down in 2014.
Neither Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attended the conference. Netanyahu declined an invitation to come to Paris and be briefed during the meeting, saying the conference was “rigged” against his country and meant to impose conditions on Israel. Abbas, who supported the French initiative, is to meet French President Francois Hollande in coming weeks to discuss the results.
The statement called “upon both sides to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution, thus disassociating themselves from voices that reject this solution.”
The meeting was held five days before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes office. While he hasn’t articulated a clear policy, Trump has publicly emphasized his support for Israel, chosen an ambassador who raises money for the West Bank settlement of Beit El, and harshly criticized President Barack Obama’s decision not to veto the Dec. 23 Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements, which allowed the measure to pass.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, in a text message Sunday evening, urged Trump to “stand with the international community” for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Netanyahu’s office didn’t reply to a request for comment.