Palestinians confirm will not attend US-led meeting in Bahrain

Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) –


The Palestinian leadership confirmed Wednesday they would not attend a US-led peace conference in Bahrain next month.

The White House announced Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference in Manama focusing on economic aspects of President Donald Trump's long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.

The Palestinians had already said they had not been informed about the event and were expected not to attend but confirmed the stance late Wednesday.

"Palestine will not attend the Manama meeting," a statement on the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) website said.

"This is a collective Palestinian position, from President Mahmud Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee to all Palestinian political movements and factions, national figures, private sector and civil society."

The White House has so far not provided details on attendees but a number of prominent Palestinian businessmen have said they rejected invites to the event.

The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have opposed the proposed US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favour of Israel.

The Trump administration is expected to unveil the long-awaited plan possibly as early as next month.

The Bahrainconference could see large-scale investment pledges for the Palestinian territories but is unlikely to focus heavily on the political issues at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.