Paper Tigers of Paris Peace Conference
Recently a conference was convened in the French capital of Paris with a clear focus on the hotly disputed and blood-soaked issue of Israel and Palestine. In the attendance were the foreign ministers, envoys and delegates from 70 nations of the world which included Permanent-5 of the United Nations, G20, European Union, Arab countries, etc. Ironically even though the topic of discussion was ‘Israel-Palestine issue’ yet both were not invited to it.
The conference was preceded by inauguration of Palestinian embassy in Vatican. At the centre of the conference were the European Union and the United States. Interestingly the conference focussed on proposing 2-state solution than furthering peace talks to which Israel has taken heavy objection. Considering this and the background of migrant crisis in the EU, experts have come to the conclusion that the preferences and alliances of the EU and the West have changed.
Presence of the then US Secretary of State, John Kerry justified the focus of the conference. The then US President, Barack Obama in recent past has taken many decisions which have irked Israel government viz., objection to then President-elect, Donald Trump’s proposal for shifting US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, departing from decades-old practice by not vetoing UN-vote in favour of Israel, signing of nuclear deal with Israel arch-rival Iran, denying meeting to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his US visit resulted in aggravating the situation. It has only brought to light the fact that election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States was not digested by then Obama administration and the “old-guards”.
The surprise package at the conference was French President Francois Hollande who stole the show by taking maximum lead. With just a year to go for national elections and faced with challenge from staunch right-wing leaders like Marine Le Pen, Hollande has been forced to step on the gas. Similarly, other participating EU leaders too are under pressure to perform and display their own importance in the backdrop of rising debts, dwindling economy, divided EU and migrant crisis.
End of the Conference on an undecided note, opposition voiced by United Kingdom and Balkan nations viz., Serbia, Albania, Romania and Slovakia during the Conference and Donald Trump taking over as the President of the United States and pledging complete support to Israel has only proved the failure and futileness of the “Paris Peace Conference”.