Chinese Ambassador to Palestine Guo Wei said his country, along with Russia, would not participate in a US-sponsored meeting in Manama slated for June 25 and 26, according to Palestine’s WAFA news agency.
Wei reportedly made the remarks at a meeting in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah with Nabil Shaath, a top adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“Boycotting the Bahrain conference comes within the framework of a bilateral Russian-Chinese agreement not to participate in it,” Wei was quoted as saying.
According to the news agency, Wei had stressed Beijing’s position “in support of the Palestinian cause and people, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state of Palestine within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital”.
Early last week, the US announced plans to hold a landmark conference in Manama, where Trump administration officials are expected to unveil economic aspects of the “Deal of the Century”, a US backchannel Palestine-Israel peace plan, the terms of which have yet to be made public.
The Manama meeting will reportedly be chaired by Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump‘s senior adviser and son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy.
The meeting is expected to be attended by a host of finance officials and business leaders from several countries.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), for its part, says it was never consulted about the planned meeting and has stated its refusal to take part in the event.
Last week, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the meeting would not address the core political issues of the conflict: final borders, the status of Jerusalem, or the fate of Palestinian refugees.
“Any solution to the conflict in Palestine must be political … and based on ending the occupation,” he said.
Ever since Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017, the Palestinian leadership has rejected all US peacemaking efforts.