A US-sponsored conference on Palestinian economic development kicks off Tuesday in Bahrain’s capital Manama, as part of a wider American initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - but no Palestinians will be in attendance.
The aim of the two-day meeting is to raise 50 billion dollars in investment over 10 years, but Palestinian leaders’ refusal to take part is casting a shadow over the event, called Peace to Prosperity Workshop.
The conference is the economic portion of the so-called “Deal of the Century,” a long-awaited White House initiative for Middle Eastern peace led by President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt.
“We will not attend this workshop,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said at the weekend. “The reason is that the economic situation should not be discussed before the political one,” he added.
However Egypt and Jordan, the only Arab countries that have peace treaties with Israel, have announced that they would participate. Both countries said they would be represented by their deputy finance ministers.
The Israeli government was not invited.
- Cairo (dpa) 25 June 2019