Do not abandon hope of two-state solution, world warns Israel and Trump

The major powers – with the exception of Britain – sent out a warning to Israel and Donald Trump on Sunday not to abandon the hope of a two-state solution to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and urged all parties to disassociate themselves from voices that reject such a diplomatic solution to the deepest conflict in the Middle East.
Britain refused to sign the communique and attended only at observer level, unlike most EU states. It said it had “reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them – indeed, which is taking place against the wishes of the Israelis – and which is taking place just days before the transition to a new American president when the US will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement. There are risks therefore that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for peace”.

The British government probably fears that the conference risks becoming an attempt to circumscribe US policy on Israel before the Trump team has decided this. It is a primary tenet of UK foreign policy that the “special relationship” with the US is critical to the UK. With Britain expected to leave the EU within two years, the government may feel an even greater need not to alienate Trump.


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