China, Russia Will Not Attend Trump's Bahrain Conference, Top Palestinian Official Says

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, April 27, 2019
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, April 27, 2019Credit: Valeriy Sharifulin,AP

China and Russia will not participate in the international conference on the Palestinian economy in Bahrain in June, the secretary general of the PLO executive committee said on Monday.

Saeb Erekat cited on Twitter China's ambassador to the Palestinian Authority saying his country and Russia have agreed not to take part in the conference organized by the Trump administration.

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Last week, the Palestinian Authority officially announced it would not participate in the conference, and called on other Arab countries not to support it.

"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. We reiterate that we did not mandate anyone to negotiate on our behalf."

The statement said that "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."

Several prominent Palestinian businessmen in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have also said they were invited to attend the conference, but declined the invitation, aligning themselves with the official Palestinian position.   

Last week, the White House said the Trump administration would release the economic component of its plan for Middle East peace during the peace conference, on June 25.

The economic component of the plan will be revealed before the political component, which is still being discussed.

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