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Abbas Plans to Convince Arab Leaders Not to Hold Bahrain Summit - Aide

© AP Photo / Majdi MohammedPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting of the Central Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, March 4, 2015.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting of the Central Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, March 4, 2015. - Sputnik International
RAMALLAH (Sputnik) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been calling on participants of the ongoing regional summits in Saudi Arabia not to carry out a Bahrain workshop that the United States plans to convene to pitch the economic component of its "deal of the century", Abbas’ foreign policy aide Nabil Shaath said.

"President Abbas is currently in Mecca. He will do everything possible to convince the colleagues not to hold the meeting in Bahrain or to change its essence — to make it an Arab-Palestinian meeting, not a forum on the ‘deal of the century’", Shaath said, calling the Bahrain workshop an attempt to bribe Palestinians.

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Shaath continued by saying that the Palestinian authorities were not against receiving money for development.

"The question is what is at stake. If we need to agree with Mr [US President Donald] Trump, we do not want this money. We can survive without them", Abbas’ adviser added.

Shaath also noted the fact that both Russia and China had refused to participate in the Bahrain forum. The official, moreover, noted the lack of enthusiasm for the meeting on the part of the European Union, adding that only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had expressed their readiness to participate in the event.

"We will participate in other conferences, meetings and summits. But we will not touch anything Mr Trump and his aides have prepared to dictate fully unfair and illegal ‘deal of the century' to us", Shaath argued.

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Washington plans to carry out the so-called Peace to Prosperity forum on 25-26 June in Manama to encourage investment in the Palestinian territories as part of its long-anticipated Israeli-Palestinian conflict settlement plan, dubbed the "deal of the century". The Palestinian leadership, as well as various organisations, has already slammed the event. Abbas is visiting Saudi Arabia along with other regional leaders for the Arab, Gulf and Islamic summits, convened by Riyadh this week.

The Trump administration has been working on a peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian settlement for months. However, the Palestinians have rejected Washington’s involvement in the settlement of their conflict with the Israelis due to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City despite the condemnation of the Muslim world and UN recommendations to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in the city until its legal status is settled.

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