Last updated on February 10th, 2019
Peace in the Middle East has been the top priority ever since the Arab springs of 2011. The US conference on the Middle East hosted by Poland next week is just another reflection of the same. However, Palestinian officials have turned down the invitation from Poland to attend the conference, citing ‘problems with the US’.
The senior administration official told reporters, White House senior adviser, Jared Kushner would discuss the plans for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis at the conference.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, called off the plans to visit the conference because of the US’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He expressed that the decision downplays the endeavor of reaching a two-state solution.
“As noted we have asked the Palestinian Authority to send representatives to this event,” the U.S. official said.
“We would very much welcome the Palestinian Authority’s perspectives during the discussion, but I do want to emphasize this is not a negotiation but a discussion, and we look forward to fostering a constructive conversation in Warsaw,” the official added.
Referred to as the world’s “most intractable conflict,” the war has been carried on for more than 5 decades now. Though many efforts have been made to reach a two-state solution, none has been able to establish peace between the two. The conflict has also led to great divisions within the Israeli and Palestinian societies and has seen a lot of civilian and military men losing their lives in the process.
The invitation to the meeting was rejected in a jiffy by the Chief Palestine negotiator, Saheb Erekat who expressed on his Twitter, “Regarding statements that we have been invited, we can say that only today there was some contact from the Polish side.” He added, “Our position remains clear: We are not going to attend this conference and reiterate that we have not mandated anyone to talk on behalf of Palestine.”
The rejection of the invitation creates a dangerous environment for the civilians who demand an end to the decades-old conflict. Correspondingly, Abbas might have rightfully stated that the US’ recognition of Jerusalem downplays the importance of the two-state solution, but it also increases the chances of reaching no agreement at all.
Trump’s son-in-law, Kushner has been working on a peace plan for more than a year. The Warsaw event would be one of the first occasions where he will discuss the plans openly.
The State Department confirmed that more than 40 countries will attend the meeting in Warsaw, which will be held from Feb 12 to 14.