Egypt, Morocco, Jordan to attend Bahrain workshop on Palestine investment

Egypt, Morocco and Jordan have informed the US that they will attend the conference on investment in Palestinian areas in Bahrain in late June. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2019
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Egypt, Morocco, Jordan to attend Bahrain workshop on Palestine investment

  • Egypt and Jordan's participation is considered especially important
  • Palestinian leaders have threatened to boycott the conference

LONDON: Egypt, Morocco and Jordan have informed the US that they will attend an upcoming conference on investment in Palestinian areas to be held in Bahrain in late June, according to a White House official.

The White House announced last month that it would co-host the June 25-26 conference with Bahrain focusing on economic aspects of the long-delayed “Deal of the Century” US peace plan, with the declared aim of achieving Palestinian prosperity.

The conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources,” the Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said in May.

Egypt and Jordan's participation is considered especially important since they have historically been key players in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

The White House hailed the countries' attendance as “welcome news,” a sign “that our workshop is gathering momentum as we had anticipated.”

The level of their representatives was not immediately known, but the US had extended invitations to finance ministers.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are already scheduled to attend.

Presidential advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt made personal appeals to the kings of Morocco and Jordan during their recent tour of the Middle East  to rally support for the plan.

However, Palestinian leaders have threatened to boycott the conference.


Door will stay open to Palestinians despite Bahrain boycott, Kushner tells Arab News

Updated 48 sec ago
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Door will stay open to Palestinians despite Bahrain boycott, Kushner tells Arab News

  • Kushner said US President Donald Trump had delivered on his promises to everyone, and would deliver on his promise to Palestinians
  • Kushner says he has laid out a great framework in which Palestinians can engage 'if they want to make their people’s lives better'

MANAMA: The “Peace to Prosperity” conference in Bahrain was “a remarkable couple of days,” White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday as he was pressed by Israeli reporters demanding to know what consequences Palestinians would face for refusing to attend.
The conflict was a “solvable problem economically,” Kushner said. “The Palestinian people have been promised a lot of things over the years that have not come true, and I do want to show them that this is the plan, this is what could happen if there is a peace deal.”
Kushner said he planned to follow up with investors to secure the funding. “Once we have that, we will roll into the political plan but we will do it with a context of people having the opportunity to digest what is possible.” It was a “constant theme” during the conference “that this is actually very doable,” he said.
Kushner’s press secretary controlled who could ask questions. He said he would only allow four, and called Israeli journalists from i24 Israeli TV and The Times of Israel.  When the press secretary waved me away, I asked if he would take a question from the only Palestinian reporter present, writing for Arab News. Kushner said: “Yes.”
I asked if he was going to close the door or leave it open to the Palestinians as his vision for economic peace moved forward.
“If they actually want to make their people’s lives better, we have now laid out a great framework in which they can engage and try to achieve it,” Kushner replied.
“We have left the door open the whole time. One thing you have seen with me is I tend not to get emotional about transactions at the end of the day, I understand people have their domestic politics and people have different ways of reacting.

“I think what you have seen from us is that we have been very respectful, very straightforward. We have been very deliberate. We take actions, not weighing the
political consequences. We have been weighing what is right and wrong.”
Kushner said US President Donald Trump had delivered on his promises to everyone, and would deliver on his promise to Palestinians.
“President Trump has said he wants to help the Palestinians achieve a better future for themselves, and I hope they will take it very seriously that he has been trying to do that. Hopefully what you have seen in the last couple of days shows there has been a lot of effort on a very high level, a lot of resources devoted to it.
“We are going to keep moving forward and we will put out our political plan at the right time. I do think that one of the things from today is that it will be very hard for people to go back to looking at this through a traditional lens. I do think that hopefully we have helped people look at it a little bit differently, and that is one of our goals.”