Kerry Promises Netanyahu: Paris Peace Conference Won't Lead to Further International Action

Outgoing U.S. secretary of state told Israeli prime minister that should any UN resolution be put forward in the coming days, the U.S. would oppose it.

Kerry and Netanyahu in Manhattan, New York, September 23, 2016.
DARREN ORNITZ/REUTERS

PARIS - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday afternoon and promised the Paris peace conference will not lead to further action at the United Nations or in any other international forums.

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Kerry, who is attending the conference, spoke to Netanyahu by phone and promised there would be no follow up to the conference at the UN Security Council before Obama leaves office on January 20. He added that should any resolution be put forward during that time, the U.S. would oppose it.

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A senior Israeli official, who requested to remain anonymous, said that Kerry briefed Netanyahu on efforts the Americans are making to soften the wording of the summit's concluding statement.

Western diplomats participating in the Paris summit told Haaretz that last night's meeting discussing the closing statement of the conference ended in a stalemate.

Netanyahu told Kerry that Israel had already paid a diplomatic price for the U.S. decision not to veto last month's UN Security Council resolution condemning the settlements. "We cannot add more damage," Netanyahu told Kerry.

Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu came out against the conference at the weekly cabinet meeting, calling it a "futile conference." Netanyahu said that the event was coordinated between the French and the Palestinians, and that it is driving the prospects of peace away.

"These are the death throes of yesterday's world. Tomorrow will look different," he said.