Trump's 'Deal of the Century' will 'go to hell', Abbas says

Trump's 'Deal of the Century' will 'go to hell', Abbas says
The Palestinian Authority will not attend the June 25-26 conference in Bahrain, where the economic aspects of President Donald Trump's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan will be unveiled.
2 min read
28 May, 2019
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Trump's secretive Middle East peace plan 'will go to hell'[Getty]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday at a ceremony in Ramallah that President Donald Trump's administration's proposed peace plan - known as the "Deal of the Century" - "will go to hell", according to local news sources.

The White House announced on Sunday it would co-host the June 25-26 conference in Manama focusing on economic aspects of President Donald Trump's long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

The plan, which has been two years in the making, envisions large-scale investment and infrastructure work in the Palestinian territories but the central political elements remain mostly unknown.

"The Palestinian Authority does not recognise this conference," Abbas said at a Ramallah event, "Trump's "Deal of the Century" will go to hell, as will the economic workshop in Bahrain that the Americans intend to hold."

"Whoever is interested in proposing a solution to the Palestinian issue should begin with a diplomatic solution," Abbas added in Monday comments.

The Palestinians had already said they had not been informed about the event and were expected not to attend but confirmed the stance on Wednesday.

"Palestine will not attend the Manama meeting," a statement on the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) website said.

"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."

The White House has so far not provided details on attendees but a number of prominent Palestinian businessmen have said they rejected invites to the event.

The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since President Donald Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have opposed the proposed US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favour of Israel.

The Trump administration is expected to unveil the long-awaited plan possibly as early as next month. The plan is spearheaded by Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The Bahrain conference could see large-scale investment pledges for the Palestinian territories but is unlikely to focus heavily on the political issues at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: borders, the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees and Israel’s security.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will send senior ministers to participate in the conference despite calls by Palestinian leadership for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

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