US Special Representative for International Relations Jason Greenblatt has said that the economic aspect of the US peace plan – known as deal of the century – “will not move forward” without Israeli-Palestinian political agreement.
Speaking to the Saudi satellite channel Al-Arabia, Greenblatt criticised the Palestinian Authority (PA) over its boycott of the Bahrain economic workshop, which is considered the first phase of the deal of the century.
“[US Presidential advisor] Jared Kushner and a very skilled team from the US government put forth this $50 billion plan to help Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians and the Lebanese,” he said. “But none of it will work unless there’s a political plan that both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians agree to.”
He also criticised what he called the “spoilers” who said that this plan “is nothing other than a bribe to the Palestinians.”
“I want to reiterate for your [the Saudi TV] audience that we understand there is no economic peace alone, but we also want to drive home the point that there is no political peace without making sure the Palestinian lives are improved economically,” he said.
Greenblatt noted that the political portion of the peace plan consists of 60 pages and it would be presented to both Israel and the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, he called on PA President Mahmoud Abbas not to set preconditions for the plan but rather to return to the negotiating table.
“When I sit with ordinary Palestinians, they may disagree with our US policy, they may disagree with certain things that I say, but they are very realistic and warm and welcoming to the discussion,” he said, trying to penetrate the Palestinian audience.
“The PA unfortunately is not welcoming to the discussion. You can’t create peace based on that attitude,” he concluded.