Abbas: Bahrain conference a 'big lie conceived by Kushner'

PA chairman responds to senior White House adviser, says he will not work with Trump administration.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas responded on Wednesday to senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, who had earlier criticized the PA leadership for boycotting the US-led Bahrain conference last week.

"The Trump administration’s peace plan will fail just as the economic conference in Bahrain failed,” said Abbas, according to Israeli media outlets, describing the Bahrain conference as “a big lie conceived by Kushner.”

“We will not work with the American administration until it walks back its decisions. Since the Oslo Accords, Israel has been working to destroy agreements. If Israel is not committed to agreements, we will not be committed either," he declared.

Abbas further stated that the PA would not accept the United States as a lone mediator in negotiations with Israel.

In a phone briefing with Israeli and Arab journalists earlier on Wednesday, Kushner said that the PA had “made a strategic mistake” by boycotting the Bahrain conference, in which the US administration presented the economic portion of its peace plan.

He did, however, note in response to a question from an Arab journalist about the US perception of Abbas and PA leadership, “I have a lot of respect for President Abbas, he’s devoted his life to making peace, he’s suffered some setbacks along the way. I believe in his heart he wants to make peace, and that we can give him an opportunity to try to achieve that.”

The PA, in fact, has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017 and his relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.