Palestinians reject invitation to attend US ME meeting in Poland

Palestinians reject invitation to attend US ME meeting in Poland

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories - The Palestinian government rejected on Thursday, February 7, a US-led conference on Middle East peace and security due to take place next week in Warsaw, branding it an "American conspiracy".

Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and White House senior adviser, is expected to head to the Middle East later this month for an official visit to discuss a US proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Senior adviser Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, the special representative for worldwide negotiations, will offer up the details to their counterparts during a weeklong trip at the end of the month to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, the senior White House officials said. "The economic plan only works if the region supports it", said one official who briefed a small group of reporters.

The Trump administration has delayed multiple times the launch of a proposed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, though officials still say they still intend to present one.

"As noted we have asked the Palestinian Authority to send representatives to this event", the official said.

"Jared is going to share elements of the economic plan to the region".

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Trump has long promised to try and reach the so-called "deal of the century" to end the long-simmering Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but his efforts have derailed since his decision to transfer the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

While this trip will not focus on the political components of the peace plan, officials said Arab leaders will be hesitant to accept the economic aspects if they don't know the political aspects.

The tour aims to build goodwill and support for a plan that has been widely discredited by the Palestinians, and is seen with skepticism by the global community.

The current thinking among White House officials is that the peace plan will be unveiled sometime after Israel holds elections on April 9 that will decide the fate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kushner is not visiting Israel on this trip, the officials said.

Relationships between Washington and Ramallah have been at an all-time low since the Trump administration's decision to move the USA embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in December 2017.

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