Palestinians will host a conference in parallel with the US' planned peace conference to be held in Bahrain in late June, a senior Fatah official said yesterday.
Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Azzam Al-Ahmad said the PLO Executive Committee will decide the exact date of the conference, and work is underway to invite Arab parties.
This is being completed as contacts are being made with Arab states calling on them to boycott the "Peace to Prosperity" conference in Manama on 25-26 June, Al-Ahmad explained.
The Palestinian leadership and business people have refused to take part in the US-led conference in Bahrain. Social Development Minister and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee, Ahmed Majdalani, said: "There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop. Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel."
The US announced in a joint statement with Bahrain that Manama will host an economic workshop. The White House said that the workshop was aiming to "encourage investing capital in the West Bank, Gaza, and the region," describing it "the first phase of the US sponsored 'deal of the century' plan."
American officials recently told Reuters that the economic workshop would bring together government officials and business leaders in an effort "to jump-start the economic portion of the peace initiative, which is also expected to include proposals for resolving thorny political issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."