PA: Economic peace a 'strategic mistake'

Abbas' spokesman attacks US-led economic conference in Bahrain and stresses that there will be no agreement without the Palestinians.

Dalit Halevi,

Nabil Abu Rudeineh
Nabil Abu Rudeineh

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the official spokesman of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on Thursday called the US-led economic conference in Bahrain "a strategic mistake."

Abu Rudeineh said that the economic conference in Bahrain would lead to a "free" normalization before the implementation of the Arab peace initiative which is based on the principle of Israeli withdrawal from "occupied" Arab lands.

He warned of the gravity of the situation, especially in light of the fact that the Palestinians will never negotiate under pressure, and extortion will cause further tension in the region and even create a new reality.

Abu Rudeineh noted that any diplomatic move must be to the satisfaction of the "Palestinian people" and its leadership, stressing that any party working to advance an agreement without the Palestinian leadership would fail in its efforts.

He said the purpose of the conference in Bahrain is to circumvent the need to reach a political settlement under the heading of economic peace, which in the past has led to disasters and wars that have not stopped until today.

The Trump administration is planning to release the economic component of its Middle East peace plan during the conference next week in Manama.

The PA announced it would boycott the economic conference almost immediately after it was announced, saying that the conference would be a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.

Despite the PA’s decision to boycott the conference, several Arab countries will attend, including Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.