The summarizing remarks of the anti-Israel Paris “Peace” Conference were neutralized and nothing concrete came out of it.
Even before the conference, Britain already showed their displeasure by sending Michael Howells, the head of the Middle East desk of the Foreign Office and two more junior diplomats instead of sending a minister or its ambassador.
Britain neutralized the summarizing statement saying they were opposed to it. A decision made in the Council of Foreign Ministers needs a consensus and that is why when Britain objected the decisions fell through. When Britain opposed it, Hungary, Lithuania and Australia also chose not to sign the statement.
Britain’s Foreign Ministry stated: “There are risks therefore that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for peace.” There are “particular reservations” about making an agreement “just days before the transition to a new American president when the US will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement.”
It is possible that the U.K position was formed when Donald Trump approached Prime Minster Theresa May with his request. This is what most U.K. newspapers claim. The U.K. already denounced Kerry’s speech for overly focusing on blaming the settlements as the main cause for not progressing to peace rather than giving a more holistic solution.
“We do not believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex… We do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally. The government believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties, supported by the international community,” a spokesman from the Prime Minister’s office stated.