China and Russia to boycott Bahrain conference

Senior PLO official says China and Russia informed him they will not participate in US-led economic workshop in Manama.

Elad Benari ,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Palestinian Authority (PA) official Saeb Erekat said on Monday he had been informed by China and Russia that they will not participate in the upcoming US-led economic workshop that will be held in Manama, the capital of Bahrain.

Erekat also said that the PA had asked both countries to boycott the economic conference.

The Chinese envoy to the PA confirmed the remarks and noted that a tripartite agreement had been reached with Syria to boycott the conference.

The “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop, to be held on June 25 and 26 in Bahrain, was announced last week by senior White House officials, who said that the Trump administration is planning to release the economic component of its upcoming Middle East peace plan during that workshop.

The PA immediately announced that it would boycott the economic conference, with its “information minister” Nabil Abu Rudeineh saying that the conference would be a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.

On Sunday, the PLO Executive Committee called on the world to boycott the Bahrain conference, saying it hadn’t “authorized any party to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people.”

"The goal pursued by the US for the workshop is to start implementing the Deal of the Century and link it to economy after it takes steps in implementing the political parts of the deal," it added.

The PA has boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December of 2017.

It has also rejected the US peace plan before it has even been unveiled, claiming it is biased in Israel’s favor.

While China and Russia will not attend the conference, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates publicly said last week they will take part in the conference and will help promote economic cooperation for the entire Middle East.