The United States will hold an international economic “workshop” in Bahrain in late June to encourage investment in the Palestinian areas as the first part of President Donald Trump’s coming Middle East peace plan, the White House said on Sunday.
The conference will bring together government and business leaders to help jump-start the economic portion of the broader US peace initiative, which 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.
“This will give hopefully the people in the region the potential to see what the economic opportunities could be if we can work out political issues that have held back the region for a long, long time,” a senior Trump administration official said.
The participants in the June 25-26 conference in Manama are expected to include representatives and business executives from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the administration official said.
However, a second senior US official declined to say whether Israeli and Palestinian officials would take part.
US officials had said earlier the peace plan would be rolled out after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends in early June.
But the announcement of the investors workshop appears to set the stage for a sequenced release of the plan, starting with the economic plan in late June, and later, at some time not yet clear, the political proposals.
Veteran Palestinian negotiator says denied US visa for first timeA veteran Palestinian negotiator said on Monday she had been denied a US travel visa for the first time and viewed it as retaliation for her criticism ... Middle East
Palestinian President Abbas slams US move to drop ‘occupied’ in HR reportA spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has criticized a US move to no longer refer to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights as ... Middle East
US assures ‘no change’ in its policy on the status of Palestinian territoriesThe US state department assured that there has been no change in the US’s policy on the status of Palestinian territories, after a newly ... Middle East
Lavrov: US peace plan should include Palestinian state based on 1967 bordersThe US-proposed “deal of the century” on the Middle East peace process is not enough to guarantee a Palestinian state based on the ... Middle East
US may review ties with countries deemed anti-IsraelThe United States may review its ties with countries it deems as being anti-Israel after what a US envoy said on Sunday was a shift in policy towards ... Middle East
Kushner hopes Israel will look at peace plan before any West Bank movesWhite House senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Thursday that he hopes Israel will take a hard look at President Donald Trump’s upcoming Middle ... Middle East