Ramallah - Leading Palestinian businessmen announced Tuesday they would boycott an economics-focused conference next month in Bahrain that is part of the United States’ Middle East peace plan.

The Palestinian political leadership had already announced it would not attend the June 25-26 conference, but the US had invited key Palestinian businesspeople, saying the meeting was focusing on economic issues only.

In a joint press conference in the Palestinian city of Ramallah Tuesday, the bodies representing the vast majority of Palestinian businesses said they had jointly agreed to skip the conference.

“Many Palestinian businessmen received invitations to attend the conference in Bahrain but we decided not to participate,” Arafat Asfour, chairman of the Palestine Trade Centre, told AFP.

“What is needed is a political solution because building an economy without sovereignty and control over land, water, sea and natural resources cannot succeed,” he added.