Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), reiterated on Wednesday that Palestinian Authority (PA) officials will not be attending an economic conference in Bahrain next month in support of Washington's Middle East peace plan.
“This is a collective Palestinian position, from President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee to all Palestinian political movements and factions, national figures, private sector and civil society,” said Erekat in a statement.
“We reiterate that we did not mandate anyone to negotiate on our behalf. Those concerned and want to serve the interest of the Palestinian people should respect this collective position. Palestine’s full economic potential can only be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation, respecting international law and UN resolutions,” he added.
The “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop, to be held on June 25 and 26 in Bahrain, was announced on Sunday 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.
Erekat’s statement comes even after countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia announced they would take part in the Bahrain conference.