Moscow claims the United States using economic incentives to erode two-state solution; PLO working to gain support and boycotts on conference; Kushner, Greenblatt and Hook in the region for meetings in Amman, Jerusalem and Rabat.
Russia officially rejected President Trump’s “Deal of the Century”, specifically criticizing the first phase, an economic workshop in Bahrain called “Peace to Prosperity”. Moscow claimed on Tuesday that the peace deal is an attempt to “replace the task of achieving a comprehensive political solution” with economic incentives, whilst eroding the two-state solution.
The Trump Administration will reveal the first phase of the deal on June 25-26, 2019. The workshop will center on regional cooperation and economic reform and opportunity within the framework of the peace deal to improve the socio-economic status of the Palestinians. It will include regional delegations from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry released a statement on the Kremlin’s stance on the upcoming conference on Tuesday. It reads, “It is all about another US attempt to shift the priorities of the regional agenda and impose an ‘alternative vision’ of the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. The persistent desire to replace the task of achieving a comprehensive political solution with a package of the so-called ‘economic incentives’ while eroding the principle of creating two states for two peoples is causing deep concern.”
On Monday, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) senior official Saeb Erekat informed the media that the Palestinian Authority (PA) asked both China and Russia to boycott Trump’s conference. The PA has been clear that it will not attend the conference and continues to work to gain support in its boycott, simultaneously looking for alternative peace process mediators to replace the United States. Erekat recently claimed, “The goal pursued by the US for the workshop is to start implementing the Deal of the Century and link it to economy after it takes steps in implementing the political parts of the deal.”
The White House has been clear that any political decisions or outcomes, including borders, would be made directly by Israel and the PA. President Trump’s team working in the Middle East, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and special envoy to the region Jason Greenblatt, have left for visits with officials in Israel, Morocco and Jordan. As with their last trip to the region, Trump’s Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, is also in attendance.