PARIS - France will today host talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that have received a chilly response from Washington, but diplomats say merely swinging the spotlight back onto the stalemate is a victory.
After decades of failed negotiations, few believe the climate is right to bring together the Israelis and Palestinians for another shot at solving one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.
Indeed, neither party has been invited to today’s talks.
Instead representatives of some 25 countries, as well as the United Nations, European Union and Arab League, will try and lay the ground for a fully-fledged peace conference to be held by the end of the year.
"Right now if we put Palestinians and Israelis around a table it is highly likely the discussion will last less than a few minutes," said a French diplomatic source.
While scepticism is high over the new peace bid, the consensus among some diplomats appears to be that any effort is better than none at all.
"The fear in France is that there is no credible perspective of solving this issue, diplomatically or politically," the diplomatic source in Paris said.
"We risk heading towards even more violence in an international context where there is no visible American effort on the case." — AFP