Qatar has announced that it will attend the US-led economic conference in Bahrain in late June- which aims to encourage investment in Palestinian areas- despite its media organizations launching smear campaigns against the event.
“The State of Qatar said it has followed the call by the United States to hold a workshop on the investment and economic situation in the region scheduled to be held in Manama next month,” a statement released on May 24 by Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs read.
The White House is set to lay out the first part of President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan at the Bahrain conference.
The plan, touted by Trump as the “deal of the century,” is expected to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Arab donor countries before grappling with thorny political issues at the heart of the conflict.
Qatari media heavily criticized the conference, with one senior Al Jazeera news anchor and moderator, Jamal Rayyan, tweeting: “Do you support Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel organizing an economic conference in Bahrain to finance the deal of the century and liquidate the Palestinian cause?”
The Middle East Monitor also dedicated a string of opinion articles to bash the upcoming Manama conference.
One of them said the US peace plan “will be forcibly delivered in Bahrain’s capital by a pro-Israel American team to an awaiting gallery of finance ministers, businessmen and women”.
Another said the Bahrain conference “is being based on the rule of payment before receipt, as the Palestinian, Jordanians, and Arabs, in general, are required to pay the price for their dignity, sanctity, and state.”
A third opinion article published in the Middle East Monitor read: “The latest gambit in trying to maneuver the Palestinians into a corner is a conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.”
Qatari media blackout
Despite the Qatari media attacks, Qatar has announced its participation amid a media blackout that ignores Doha’s participation.
Al Jazeera news anchor Rayyan once again tweeted: “Saudi Arabia’s financing and organization of the Bahrain summit [conference] is done in order to liquidate the Palestinian issue.”
His tweet comes two days after Qatar announced its participation in the US-led conference, an announcement that was ignored by Qatari media outlets.
Earlier in May, a Palestinian cabinet minister said Palestinians will stay away from the US-led conference, saying it had not been consulted about it.
The UAE welcomed the conference, which it said aims to “lift the Palestinian people out of misery and to enable them for a stable and prosperous future.”
Additionally, a senior Trump administration official said the conference “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.”