Palestinian Authority brands US-led Middle East meeting an ‘American conspiracy’
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Palestinian Authority brands US-led Middle East meeting an ‘American conspiracy’

PA not invited to Warsaw conference, says it will ignore its conclusions amid breakdown in relations with Washington

A picture taken on December 6, 2017 shows Palestinian men watching an address given by US President Donald Trump at a cafe in Jerusalem.  AFP PHOTO / Ahmad GHARABLI
A picture taken on December 6, 2017 shows Palestinian men watching an address given by US President Donald Trump at a cafe in Jerusalem. AFP PHOTO / Ahmad GHARABLI

The Palestinian Authority rejected Thursday a US-led conference on Middle East peace and security due to take place next week in Warsaw, branding it an “American conspiracy.”

The joint US-Polish conference, which was first announced last month by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will be held on February 13 and 14 and host ministers from across the globe.

The PA was not invited to the meeting amid a breakdown of relations with the United States, though the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be discussed.

Among those expected to attend are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, senior advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, as well as Pompeo.

In a statement Thursday, the PA’s foreign ministry called the meeting “an American conspiracy intended to get the participants to adopt the US views on issues of the region, particularly the Palestine question.”

It said the PA would ignore all conclusions made by the conference.

Palestinian children look at graffiti depicting US President Donald Trump and slogans against US Vice President Mike Pence painted on Israel’s security barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem during clashes with Palestinian protesters near an Israeli checkpoint on December 7, 2017. (AFP/Thomas Coex)

The Palestinian Authority has refused to talk to the Trump administration since the US leader recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.

It sees the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian future state and has claimed that Washington’s pro-Israel bias meant the US could no longer be the main mediator in stalled peace talks.

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

The PA’s foreign ministry also criticized Trump for praising the US embassy move in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

“The malicious intentions of this administration were reiterated by US President Donald Trump in his State of the Union speech to Congress in which he stressed continuing with the policy of absolute bias toward Israel,” said the statement, carried by official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

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