The United States has long been one of the foremost powers on pushing for a solution to the Palestinian-Israel conflict. But with France trying to force the sides into an internationally-accepted framework—a plan that Israel rejects on principal—the US is still not sure what they think of the idea put forth by Paris. Step one in the plan is a “peace conference” on May 30 inviting major world powers to discuss the conflict, but without Israel or the Palestinians in attendance, according to a report by Al-Monitor. Despite the plans, officially the Americans still haven’t announced who would even be going to the meeting, much less the plan.
“We’re reviewing the French proposal,” said US spokesman John Kirby on Friday in comments released by the State Department. “We’re certainly interested in talking to all our partners about ways in which we can try to get to a two-state solution. But I know of no judgment rendered about this so-called French proposal.” Kirby would not comment on Secretary of State John Kerry’s plans for May 30. Unofficially, the Americans seem to be leading from behind on this one.
Al-Monitor reported that the Americans are up to speed on the French plan, and while they aren’t leading it, they haven’t stopped the French either. The report noted that the Americans still haven’t decided how they want to transition their Middle East diplomacy on the conflict to the next US presidential administration at the end of the year.
The refusal to officially take a stand on the French proposal isn’t new for the US, but with less than a month before it starts to move forward, time is running out to stake a position.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 1, 2016)