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Greenblatt says even before launch of Mideast peace plan, PA ‘acting in shameful manner’

U.S. special envoy criticizes P.A. over its boycott of peace efforts: “Our vision can fundamentally change their lives." Senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath: "We have nothing to discuss.”

U.S. Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 25, 2017. Photo by Flash90.
U.S. Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 25, 2017. Photo by Flash90.

U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt urged the Palestinians to stop their boycott of the U.S. administration and help make next month’s peace conference in Bahrain a success.

The “Peace to Prosperity” workshop will focus on economic programs to complement the political component of the peace plan, which will be unveiled at a later stage.

“It’s difficult to understand why the Palestinian Authority would reject a workshop designed to discuss a vision with the potential to radically transform lives and put people on a path toward a brighter future,” said Greenblatt.

Greenblatt has been entrusted with the peace efforts along with senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

He went on to say that “by encouraging Palestinians to reject the workshop, the P.A. is shamefully trying to block their path toward a better future. History will judge the P.A. harshly for passing up any opportunity that could give the Palestinians something so very different, and something so very positive, compared to what they have today.”

P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas and his spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, lambasted the administration on Sunday and warned that the peace efforts would lead to failure.

“Any economic plan without political horizons will lead nowhere,” said Abu Rudeineh. “Palestinians will not accept any proposals which do not include a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

One by one, additional officials in Ramallah claimed that the P.A. was determined not to embrace the plan to be put forward by Washington. Nabil Shaath, a close adviser of Abbas, said the Palestinian people “will not take part in any initiative that ignores the national interests and the rights of the Palestinian people.”

According to Shaath, “because this ‘deal of the century’ does not further the Palestinian people’s national aspirations to establish an independent state along the 1967 borders whose capital is east[ern] Jerusalem, along with the removal of settlements and a solution to the right of return for refugees, we are not looking forward to the plan and have nothing to discuss.”

Meanwhile, a news agency in Kuwait published an interview with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who said that “the peace plan will not succeed. The Palestinians are not interested in cooperating, and even [Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not interested in a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that requires Israel to return territories that would be part of an independent Palestinian state.”

On Sunday, The New York Times unveiled some new details of the “deal of the century.”

According to discussions held with White House officials, diplomats and lawmakers, the Trump administration is looking to raise close to $68 billion dollars through the plan. This number, which is not the final amount that the administration is expected to raise, will fund regional projects to help implement the peace plan, according to the paper.

This article first appeared on Israel Hayom.

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