Bolton on Bahrain: Palestinians shouldn't re-litigate decades of dispute

Neither the Palestinian Authority nor the Israeli government were invited to the workshop. Instead, invitations were issued to Israeli and Palestinian business people.

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June 26, 2019 02:48
1 minute read.
John Bolton met with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, and Israel’s National Security Advi

John Bolton met with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, and Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.. (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

 
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The Palestinians should look to the bright future offered them by US President Donald Trump’s peace plan and stop their boycott of it, US National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Bolton spoke as the US led an economic workshop in Bahrain on a $50 billion plan to bolster the Palestinian and regional economies once the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians has been resolved.

Neither the Palestinian Authority nor the Israeli government was invited to the workshop. Instead, invitations were issued to Israeli and Palestinian business people. The PA is boycotting the Trump peace process, and many Palestinian business people chose to ignore the Bahrain invitations.

“It is mistake for the Palestinians to boycott” Bahrain, Bolton said. “What makes this particular proposal – which is being rolled out in pieces and slowly – the thing that makes it unique is the economic aspect of it. The prospects for Palestinians, for Israelis, and for everyone in the region, if we could find an acceptable agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, is incredibly bright.”

On Monday, Bolton visited the Jordan Valley, which is located over the pre-1967 lines, and spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the importance of the Jordan Valley to Israel’s security.

But in talking with reporters in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Bolton ducked a question about whether he would support Israeli application of sovereignty on the Jordan Valley for security reasons.

“On the Jordan Valley, this has been a point that many American administrations have stressed, that Israel is entitled to live within secure frontiers,” Bolton said.

“That was certainly the view of [former] president [George] Bush, maybe not so much in the prior administration. That is a central objective that Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks and it is one that we support.

“How that works in terms of specific aspects for the West Bank generally, that will be the subject of discussion that will follow the rollout of the peace plan. I would not want to step on the peace plan by telling you what is in it in advance, but be patient, it is coming.”

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