(May 23, 2019 / JNS) The Palestinian Authority officially rejected an invitation by the United States on Wednesday to attend an economic workshop in the Bahrain’s capital, Manama, next month related to the Trump administration’s Mideast peace proposal between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
“This is an official announcement that Palestine will not attend the Manama meeting,” said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in a statement. “This is a collective Palestinian position, from President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee to all Palestinian political movements and factions, national figures, private sector and civil society.”
“Those concerned and [who] want to serve the interest of the Palestinian people should respect this collective position,” he added.
Regarding improving the Palestinian Authority’s economy, Erekat said, “Palestine’s full economic potential can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation, respecting international law and UN resolutions.”
Addressing the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, U.S. special envoy for Mideast peace negotiations Jason Greenblatt said, “It would be a mistake for the Palestinians not to join us. They have nothing to lose and much to gain if they do join us. But it is, of course, their choice.”
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced that they will send representatives to the economic summit, which is scheduled for June 25-26.