Europe

In long-shot Mideast peace bid, France sees nothing to lose

  • FILE - In this June 17, 2016 file photo, Palestinians pray in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Jerusalem's Old City. The Palestinians are ringing alarm bells over Donald Trump's stated intention to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, fearing quick action once he takes office as U.S. president next week. They say an embassy move would kill any hopes for negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian border deal and rile the region by undercutting Muslim and Christian claims to the holy city. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)

    FILE - In this June 17, 2016 file photo, Palestinians pray in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Jerusalem's Old City. The Palestinians are ringing alarm bells over Donald Trump's stated intention to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, fearing quick action once he takes office as U.S. president next week. They say an embassy move would kill any hopes for negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian border deal and rile the region by undercutting Muslim and Christian claims to the holy city. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 17, 2003 file photo, an Israeli border policemen guards the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv as Israelis line up for U.S. visas. The Palestinians are ringing alarm bells over Donald Trump's stated intention to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, fearing quick action once he takes office as U.S. president next week. They said an embassy move would kill any hopes for negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian border deal and rile the region by undercutting Muslim and Christian claims to the holy city. (AP Photo/Eitan Hess-Ashkenazi, File)

    FILE - In this March 17, 2003 file photo, an Israeli border policemen guards the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv as Israelis line up for U.S. visas. The Palestinians are ringing alarm bells over Donald Trump's stated intention to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, fearing quick action once he takes office as U.S. president next week. They said an embassy move would kill any hopes for negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian border deal and rile the region by undercutting Muslim and Christian claims to the holy city. (AP Photo/Eitan Hess-Ashkenazi, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -- In this Oct. 19, 2016 file photo, covered in prayer shawls, Jewish men of the Cohanim Priestly caste participate in a blessing during the holiday of Sukkot, in front of the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's Old City. The Palestinians are ringing alarm bells over Donald Trump's stated intention to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, fearing quick action once he takes office as U.S. president next week. They say an embassy move would kill any hopes for negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian border deal and rile the region by undercutting Muslim and Christian claims to the holy city. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

    FILE -- In this Oct. 19, 2016 file photo, covered in prayer shawls, Jewish men of the Cohanim Priestly caste participate in a blessing during the holiday of Sukkot, in front of the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's Old City. The Palestinians are ringing alarm bells over Donald Trump's stated intention to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, fearing quick action once he takes office as U.S. president next week. They say an embassy move would kill any hopes for negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian border deal and rile the region by undercutting Muslim and Christian claims to the holy city. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)  (The Associated Press)

It sounds far-fetched at best: holding a Mideast peace conference without Israelis, Palestinians or the incoming U.S. government.

But the French organizers say that's the whole point. They want Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump to see that much of the world wants a two-state solution.

With chances for a Mideast peace deal lower than in years — perhaps a generation — French President Francois Hollande figures there's nothing to lose.

French diplomats fear that Trump's administration will unleash new tensions in the region by condoning settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians and potentially moving the U.S. Embassy to contested Jerusalem.

So more than 70 foreign ministers and other top envoys are gathering Sunday in Paris to urge the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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