Israel, Palestinians warned against solo steps harmful to peace

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault welcomes US Secretary of State John Kerry as he arrives for the Mideast peace conference in ParisBy John Irish, Lesley Wroughton and Marine Pennetier PARIS (Reuters) – Some 70 countries reaffirmed on Sunday that only a two-state solution could resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and warned against any unilateral steps by either side that could prejudge negotiations. The final communique of a one-day international Middle East peace conference in Paris shied away from explicitly criticizing plans by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to move the U.S Embassy to Jerusalem, although diplomats said the wording sent a "subliminal" message. Trump has pledged to pursue more pro-Israeli policies and to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, all but enshrining the city as Israel's capital despite international objections.


Settlements must not undermine Mideast peace: Germany’s Steinmeier

Israeli settlement building must not undermine efforts to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday, adding that Israel’s security was also important. “It has to be the will of the parties to create results which mean that Israel and Palestine can coexist peacefully in the Middle East,” Steinmeier told reporters ahead of a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels. “Everybody knows that the security situation in Israel is part of that, in the same way as the fact that the basis of such negotiations cannot be undermined by the construction of settlements.