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Palestinian prime minister rejects 'stillborn' Bahrain conference Open in fullscreen

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Palestinian prime minister rejects 'stillborn' Bahrain conference

Shtayyeh said that the Palestinian problem was about occupation, not economics [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 May, 2019

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Palestinian Authority Prime Minister described an upcoming US-sponsored economic conference in Bahrain as 'stillborn' and thanked the Palestinian private sector for refusing to take part.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has said that an upcoming economic conference in the Bahraini capital Manama - centered on an unpopular US peace plan - will be "stillborn".

The conference is due to be held on the 25 and 26 June.

In comments made during a Ramadan iftar (fast-breaking dinner) organised by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, Shtayyeh praised the Palestinian private sector, saying that "from Gaza to the West Bank to the diaspora, it had refused to take part in this conspiracy against the Palestinian people".

The Bahrain conference will focus on economic issues and is backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, despite a Palestinian boycott. Palestinians say they were not consulted about the conference.

The conference is part of US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century" peace plan, the details of which have yet to be revealed in full.

The plan has been widely rejected by Palestinians because of Trump’s previous recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and expectations that the plan will recognise Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the West Bank.

Shtayyeh said that "all Palestinian national factions" had taken "a clear united position rejecting the Manama Conference", adding, "our problem is not an economic one, our struggle is over land - to end the occupation, establish our state with Jerusalem as its capital, and return the refugees".

Read more: Arab hosts of Trump's 'peace summit' are throwing Palestinians under the bus

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