The British government has reportedly signalled its determination not to anger President-elect Donald Trump's incoming administration by refusing to send a high-level delegation to the Israel-Palestine peace talks in Paris on Sunday (15 January).
Over 70 countries attended the conference in the French capital, which is aimed at restarting the two-state solution amid years of conflict and expanded settlements.
Most of the countries present sent their foreign minister – with America sending John Kerry for example – however the UK sent neither a Foreign Office minister nor the UK ambassador to France.
The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, sidestepped questions in the House of Commons last week about whether he would be going to the conference.
Trump's transition team told French diplomats they disapproved of the conference going ahead, reported the Guardian, seeing it as an attempt to put unfair pressure on Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declined to attend, said the meeting was "rigged" and termed it a futile effort.
"It's rigged by the Palestinians with French auspices to adopt additional anti-Israel stances," he said. He added: "This pushes peace backwards."
The French-Jewish umbrella organisation CRIF also opposed the conference and arranged for a rally to take place, attracting hundreds of protestors.
Despite the protests outside, behind closed doors, the conference wanted to send a "strong" message to Israel, according to a statement from the meeting circulated afterwards.
French President Francois Hollande said he was sounding an "alert" that peace talks should be revived for "the security of Israel, security of all the region" before violent extremists and Israeli settlements destroy any hope of a two-state solution.
He also warned Trump against any "improvised" or destabilising actions after he takes office on 20 January. He also urged Israel and Palestine to get back to the negotiating table together.
Hollande said: "Only direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians can lead to peace. No one will do it in their place."