France summit on Israel-Palestine conflict
Top representatives from world powers pose for a family picture during the Middle East peace conference in Paris, France Reuters

Top representatives from more than 70 countries gathered in the French capital on Sunday (15 January) and sent a strong message over the Israel-Palestine conflict, calling for a two-state solution. Most leaders warned that neither Israel nor Palestine should take unilateral action and reaffirmed their commitment towards a peace deal.

A statement issued at the end of the Middle East peace conference in Paris, exhorted Israel and Palestine to "officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution".

"[The countries] call on each side... to refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final-status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, refugees and which they will not recognise," the statement read.

At the summit there were no representatives from Israel nor from Palestine, while the UK – which did not sign the final communique – chose to remain an observer. Britain did not fully participate in the conference – a France-led effort giving impetus to a diplomatic solution to one of the Middle East's deepest-running conflicts – as it did not want to anger the incoming Donald Trump administration.

Permanent members of the UN Security Council, key European and Arab powers also participated in the talks.

Although the participants did not directly criticise US President-elect Trump over his statement on moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, they sent veiled remarks against the plans.

French President Francois Hollande said in his opening remarks: "The two-state solution, which the international community has agreed on for many years, appears threatened. It is physically threatened on the ground by the acceleration of settlements, it is politically threatened by the progressive weakening of the peace camp, it is morally threatened by the distrust that has accumulated between the parties, and that has certainly been exploited by extremists."