White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt lamented the Palestinian Authority’s decision to boycott next week’s economic summit – dubbed a “workshop” – in Bahrain, saying the much-anticipated US peace plan was not limited to the economic provisions set to be released at the workshop, but include a full package to address political issues as well.
Speaking with i24News, Greenblatt said the PA’s decision to boycott the workshop in Bahrain led the US to decline to invite Israel, saying the presence of one side would make the event appear “political”.
"Without the Palestinian Authority there, having the Israeli government there makes it more political," Greenblatt told i24News.
Greenblatt went on to say the PA’s decision not to attend was a “huge missed opportunity”, but added that the event would continue nevertheless, focusing on attracting investors and looking for donors to build up the PA economy.
“This is not just an economic peace. It is not about buying Palestinians off,” Greenblatt continued, saying that the second portion of the peace plan would death with the myriad of political issues at the heart of the conflict.
When asked whether the Trump administration would accept significant alterations to the ‘Deal of the Century’ peace plan framework after its release, Greenblatt said the president would be flexible.
“There is no such thing as a take it or leave it deal.”
During the interview, Greenblatt also rejected claims that the Israel-Arab conflict is the ‘core’ conflict fueling tensions in the Middle East, arguing instead that Iran was the root cause.