May 27, 2019

Russia and China to boycott U.S.-led Bahrain conference

Russia and China are going to boycott the U.S.-led Bahrain conference which will launch the economic part of the Trump administration's peace plan, Palestinian and Chinese officials say.

Why it matters: The U.S. is trying to get countries to attend, while the Palestinians — who are boycotting the conference — are trying to convince countries not to show up. The Russian and Chinese decision is a big achievement for the Palestinians, although it is mainly driven by Russian and Chinese tensions with the U.S. rather than by Palestinian interests.

What they're saying:

  • PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat told me he spoke two days ago with Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov and with Chinese officials and that both told him they support the Palestinian position regarding the Bahrain conference and therefore will not attend it.
  • The Chinese ambassador to the Palestinians said today in Ramallah that there is a bilateral Russian-Chinese agreement not to participate in the Bahrain conference. He stressed China supports the establishment of an independent state of Palestine within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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