U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt calls the Palestinian decision “a mistake,” saying that they have more to lose by staying away.
By World Israel News Staff
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has officially announced that it will boycott a conference in Bahrain next month that is touted as an economic precursor toward introducing the U.S. Trump administration’s diplomatic plan for Israel and the Palestinians, known as the ‘deal of the century.’
The White House announced Sunday that it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.
“The Palestinian issue and national rights are not up for sale, and economic initiatives and imaginary promises to the world will not cover the evil face of the ‘deal of the century,’ which is intended to eradicate the Palestinian issue,” said a PA statement released on Thursday.
Bahrain has defended its hosting of the event, saying it is doing so to advance Palestinian interests. A joint U.S.-Bahrain statement said that the objective of the conference is to “discuss strategies and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have confirmed their participation.
However, senior PA official Saeb Erekat said earlier this week that “we have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf.”
“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain,” said Erekat. The Palestinian Authority announced that it was breaking off diplomatic contacts with the U.S. administration when President Donald Trump announced his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
“It would be a mistake for the Palestinians not to join us. They have nothing to lose and much to gain,” said Jason Greenblatt, a senior Trump adviser involved in the Israeli-Palestinian issue.