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Palestinians Refuse to Attend Peace Plan Summit in Bahrain After Arab Countries Pressure Them to Go

05-23-2019
Mahmoud Abbas, Photo, AP

JERUSALEM, Israel - Palestinian leaders officially announced Thursday they will not attend the "Peace to Prosperity" workshop in Bahrain next month, where the United States will unveil part of the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

This comes after multiple Arab countries urged Palestinian officials to go. 

"Some Arab countries are unhappy that we immediately rejected the idea of the workshop," a senior Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post

Palestinian leaders have preemptively rejected President Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century" peace proposal and refuse to attend the workshop, which will take place on June 25-26.

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to President Trump, said the workshop will focus on repairing the Palestinians' economy through investments and business projects.

The official did not name the Arab countries who were pressuring the Palestinian Authority (PA) to attend. However, Palestinian leaders told The Jerusalem Post that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have expressed "concern" over the PA's rejection of the conference.

"The Arabs say we should have consulted with them before publicly rejecting the workshop and calling for its boycott," another official told the Post. "They are actually pressuring us to stop speaking out against the Bahrain conference and to allow businessmen to go there."

Palestinian minister for social affairs and member of the PLO's Executive Committee Ahmad Majdalani told Reuters that Palestinians who would potentially participate in the workshop will be considered "collaborators".

"Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel," he told the news agency.

The White House has invited several Palestinian businessmen to attend. Prominent Entrepreneurs Adnan Majli and Bashar Masri have vowed to boycott the event.

The Times of Israel reports that Ashraf Jabari, who was also invited, is considering attending the workshop.

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