Al Arabiya obtains draft program of US-led workshop in Bahrain

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Al Arabiya obtained on Friday, from sources knowledgeable of the event, a draft of the Peace to Prosperity workshop’s program on unlocking economic development and investment in the West Bank and Gaza.

The workshop will take place in the Bahraini capital Manama on June 25-26, and will witness the participation of guests from the GCC, Asia, and the US.

The first session is scheduled to start with a video titled “Imagining A Prosperous Middle East Region,” followed by a panel which suggests that the private sector, including local formal, informal, regional, and multinational players, can play an integral role in “restoring and ushering a new era of prosperity.”


The panel will be moderated by UK professor, author, and broadcaster Nik Gowing, and will have the UAE’s Emaar Properties Chairman Mohammed Alabbar and US Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman as speakers.

On the second day, a panel titled “Unleashing Economic Potential” will discuss how the entire region can “revive economic activity and generate sustainable growth.”


The panel will be moderated by the director of US Milken Institute, Richard Sandler, and will have the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev, and CEO of Nigerian Heirs Holdings Tony Elumelu as panelists.

Also on the second say, a panel titled “Empowering the People” will discuss how to develop “a happy and healthy Palestinian population where the human potential is fully maximized.”

The panel will be moderated by Saudi Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, Faisal Abbas, and will have panelists from the US, Senegal, and Columbia.

Three conversation sessions will also be conducted on the same day under the titles of “Strategic Sectors for Growth”, “Fostering a Culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, and “Healthcare Systems of the Future”.

The workshop is part of US President Donald Trump’s coming Middle East peace plan, according to the White House.

It is also expected to include proposals for resolving thorny political issues at the heart of the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump has touted the coming plan as the “deal of the century,” but Palestinian officials have rebuked the US effort, which they believe will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.

Trump’s Middle East team, led by his son-in-law Jared Kushner and regional envoy Jason Greenblatt, appears intent on focusing initially on the potential economic benefits, despite deep skepticism among experts that they can succeed where decades of US-backed efforts have failed.

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