The Eiffel Tower is seen at sunset in Paris.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s ambassadors around the world are engaged in a two-prong approach to combating the upcoming Paris Mideast conference, on one hand trying to convince countries not to attend, and on the other hoping to persuade those countries that will participate not to pass a resolution that might then be taken to the UN Security Council.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ambassadors to European countries on Tuesday that there are signals there will be attempts to take decisions made at the Paris conference on January 15 and turn them into a resolution that may be brought to the Security Council.
Netanyahu said that Israel’s primary diplomatic efforts now are aimed at preventing that from happening, adding that the government was already investing a great deal of effort in this campaign.
He did not, however, provide any details.
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“We are asking countries not to take part in this charade,” one government official said of the scheduled Paris conference. “We are saying that this is not fruitful, and that they should consider their actions.”
The government official said Netanyahu’s furious reaction to the adoption on December 23 of the anti-settlement Security Council resolution was meant to send a message to other countries to think twice before adopting any operative measures at the Paris conference.
“We are not threatening anyone not to go to Paris,” another diplomatic official said. “But we are explaining why we think this is detrimental” to the diplomatic process.
Some 70 countries are expected to attend the conference, which will take place just five days before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. A day after the Paris meeting, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, comprising the ministers of the 28 EU countries, is scheduled to meet in Brussels and may also issue a statement on the Middle East.
In addition, the principals of the Mideast Quartet – made up of the US, Russia, the EU and UN – may also meet for one last meeting before US President Barack Obama leaves office.
Netanyahu said that Israel’s current diplomatic efforts are meant not only to fend off another UN Security Council resolution but also to prevent a possible Quartet decision.
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