Palestinian chief negotiator Erekat says will not attend Warsaw conference

WASHINGTON: Palestinian officials will not attend next week’s US conference hosted by Poland, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Friday after a US official said they had been invited.
“Regarding statements that we have been invited, we can say that only today there was some contact from the Polish side,” Erekat said on Twitter. “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.”

Earlier, a senior US official said that Palestinian officials had been invited to a US conference on the Middle East hosted by Poland next week where White House senior adviser Jared Kushner will discuss plans for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.
The senior administration official told reporters the event was “not a negotiation but a discussion” on Middle East peace.
“As noted we have asked the Palestinian Authority to send representatives to this event,” the official said.
Kushner, who is US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, will also take part, the official said, and he “will discuss the administration’s efforts to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians and also take questions from the audience.”
“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,” he added.
The State Department has said more than 40 countries will attended the conference in Warsaw from Feb. 12 to 14.
Kushner has been working on a peace plan for more than a year. The Warsaw event will be one of the first occasions where he will discuss the plan publicly, although he is not expected to reveal any details.

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