Bahrain FM: ‘Peace to Prosperity’ workshop a new beginning for the region

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Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said the United States’ economic plan for the Palestinian people would be a new beginning for the entire region if taken seriously.

“This is a workshop to give hope not only to our Palestinian brothers but also to the whole region. That through prosperity, through the ability to reach a better life for everyone. If it provides this path toward achieving that, then this will be a new beginning for this whole region,” told Al Arabiya English.

“If we take it seriously – and we wish everyone takes it seriously – I think this will be a new beginning for the region,” the Bahraini foreign minister added.

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day economic workshop in Bahrain which focused on raising $50 billion plan for the Palestinian people orchestrated by US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Asked on whether the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Bahrain was a sign of normalization of ties with Israel, the Bahraini foreign minister said it was not so. “This workshop is focused on improving the economic situation in the region, especially for the Palestinian people in the occupied lands. We have no knowledge and there is nothing on the table regarding a political and peace plan with Israel,” he said.

Regarding the boycott of the workshop by the Palestinian leadership, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed said it was “unfortunate”.

“Their capabilities are known, their understanding of the matters are known and their appreciation for the success or failure (of the workshop) is known. We had hoped they would be present with us. We won’t just say that this might have been an opportunity for them and they missed it, but there are more chances in the future which they should not miss out on,” he said.

The Bahraini foreign minister was also asked about the recent US sanction on Iran and whether Bahrain sees any of the US pressure campaign on Tehran working.

“There has been a history of imposing sanctions on Iran, but these are the severest sanctions on the country since they first began. These sanctions are restraining and making them weak. So yes, these sanctions are hurting their economy. If they had any right mind, then they would change their policies,” he said.

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