PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (L) and President Donald Trump (AP/Evan Vucci) (AP/Evan Vucci)
abbas and trump at white house

Key countries are planning to boycott the U.S. workshop for Middle East peace in Bahrain next month claiming that Trump is attempting to replace the peace process with economic incentives.

By World Israel News Staff

Russia and China, along with the Palestinian Authority (PA), have declared that they will not participate in the U.S. peace plan workshops scheduled for June 25 and 26 in Bahrain.

The Russian Sputnick news agency on Tuesday quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying his absence is because the U.S. plan is “to substitute the genuine peace process with imposed economic incentives.”

Russia’s hard stance included the reiteration of its commitment to “the inadmissibility of departing from the international legal framework of the Middle East settlement,” including “the principle of ‘peace for territories’ and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.”

The “peace for territories” plan involves full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967,” the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a “just” and “agreed upon” solution to the Palestinian refugee question.

The conference, called “Peace to Prosperity” is an attempt by the Trump administration to make a historic “Deal of the Century” by bringing peace in the Middle East through economic incentives for the Palestinian people. In fact, when the White House announced earlier this week that it would co-host the conference, it declared the aim to “achieve Palestinian prosperity.”

However, Russia, China and the PA all agree that the workshop is actually meant to derail the possibility of a two-state solution between Israel and the PA. “It is all about another US attempt to shift the priorities of the regional agenda and impose an ‘ alternative vision’ of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement,” said the Russian Foreign Minister. “The persistent desire to replace the task of achieving a comprehensive political solution with a package of the so-called ‘economic incentives’ while eroding the principle of creating two states for two peoples is causing deep concern.”

Senior PLO and PA official Saeb Erekat announced on Monday that both China and Russia said they would not participate in the conference following his request to boycott the event.

The Chinese Ambassador to Palestine Guo Wei reportedly said at a meeting in Ramallah with Nabil Shaath, a top adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, that his country would not attend the workshop. Wei emphasized China’s support for the Palestinian cause and people “including their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state of Palestine within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.” 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who cut ties with the Trump administration in 2017 after it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, said on Monday that Trump’s peace plan and economic workshop will “go to hell.”

The long-awaited deal-of-the-century includes large-scale funding from wealthy Arab countries to invest in and develop infrastructure for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh claimed last week that the deal does not include future borders for a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, the law of return for Palestinians and their descendants or preservation of Israel’s security.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have both publicly said they would participate in the conference and help promote economic cooperation for the entire Middle East. Egypt and Jordan, both allies with the U.S., have not yet announced their participation.

The workshop will be chaired by Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law. Jason Greenblatt, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations will be in attendance as well as a host of finance officials and business leaders from several countries.

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