Monday 20 May 2019 18:18:09
The White House announced on Sunday the first part of its much-anticipated Middle East peace plan, which will involve encouraging investment in the West Bank, in Gaza and throughout the region.
The U.S., in partnership with Bahrain, will host a “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop in Bahrain's capital, Manama, on June 25 and June 26, the countries said in a joint statement. The workshop will bring together leaders in government, civil society and business to "share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement," officials said.
It will particularly focus on building a prosperous future for the Palestinian people, officials said.
"This workshop will engage leaders from across the entire Middle East to promote economic growth and opportunity for the people in this important region,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
Bahrain Minister of Finance and National Economy Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa touted the workshop's "strong and shared interest in creating thriving economic opportunities that benefit the region."
The statement did not mention tension between the Israelis and Palestinians or whether such political issues would be addressed. White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt have been tasked with developing a peace plan for the region. Kushner has said that the full plan will not be released until June at the earliest.
He told CNN in a statement that "people are letting their grandfathers' conflict destroy their children's futures. This will present an exciting, realistic and viable pathway forward that does not currently exist."
A senior administration official told the news network that the meeting aims to encourage investment in the West Bank, Gaza and the region and will focus on infrastructure, industry, empowering and investing in people, and governance reforms "to make the area as investible as possible."