US: PA officials invited to Warsaw conference

Senior US official says PA officials have been invited to next week's conference in which Jared Kushner will provide update on peace plan.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Arab officials have been invited to a US conference on the Middle East hosted by Poland next week, a senior US official said on Friday, according to Reuters.

The senior administration official told reporters the event was “not a negotiation but a discussion” on Middle East peace.

“As noted we have asked the Palestinian Authority to send representatives to this event,” the official added.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, will also take part in the conference, the official confirmed.

Kushner “will discuss the administration’s efforts to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians and also take questions from the audience,” said the official.

“We would very much welcome the Palestinian Authority’s perspectives during the discussion, but I do want to emphasize this is not a negotiation but a discussion, and we look forward to fostering a constructive conversation in Warsaw,” he added.

The comments come a day after the Palestinian Authority (PA) rejected the conference and branded it an "American conspiracy".

The PA has rejected the US peace plan being formulated by the Trump administration before it has even been unveiled and has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017.

The joint US-Polish conference, which was first announced last month by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will be held on February 13 and 14 and host ministers from across the globe.

Pompeo invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the conference, which was intended to discuss stability and freedom in the Middle East and focus on Iran’s regional influence.

Iran was angered by the conference and took action against Poland in protest, including the cancellation of a week dedicated to Polish films. A US official later clarified that the conference is not aimed at Iran, explaining that the conference would discuss the crises in Syria and Yemen as well as missile proliferation, cyber issues, human rights and refugees, with working groups then tasked with following up.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)