Mideast Daily News

Netanyahu – Putin Meeting Sidelined by France’s No-Sideline Order

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

November 7, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a joint press conference at the Israeli leader's Jerusalem residence on June 25, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel.(Photo by Amos Ben Gershom / GPO via Getty Images)

Axiomatic to international diplomacy is that any time world leaders assemble for a conference, the “meetings on the sidelines” – the meticulously-planned spontaneous chats are where the serious business is transacted and, in fact, attendance at the event becomes worthwhile. So it’s not surprising to learn that would-be attendees are re-thinking their participation in an international conference marking one hundred years since the end of World War I after the French government, hosts of this weekend’s confab, imposed a “no sideline meetings” rule. One casualty might be the latest installment of Putin-Netanyahu chats, which are arguably of great importance to the entire Middle East as the two leaders represent the two most formidable combatants whose targets lie within the region. In Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office said efforts to schedule the meeting are up in the air (no pun intended) because apparently Netanyahu won’t make the trip if there’s no one-on-one time with pal Vladimir. There has been no indication about whether the main heavyweight event – the sideline meeting between Putin and President Trump — is still on.

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