Americas, Middle East

US-led economic conference kicks off in Bahrain

Jared Kushner describes the "deal of the century" as "opportunity of the century"

Mahmoud Barakat   | 25.06.2019
US-led economic conference kicks off in Bahrain

MANAMA 

A U.S.-led conference on its back-channel Middle East peace plan "deal of the century" kicked off in Bahrain on Tuesday.

During the two-day event, U.S. officials are expected to unveil the economic portion of their peace plan.

During his opening speech, Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s senior White House adviser and son-in-law described the peace plan as "the opportunity of the century" and not just the "deal of the century".

He asserted that the U.S. officials have prepared the largest economic plan for Palestinians and the Middle East.

Trump's adviser gave a preliminary presentation of the details of his economic plan as a prelude to peace but did not address the issue of the rights of return of Palestinians.

He asserted that President Trump will not let Palestinians down and the economic plan includes investments in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

Kushner stated that the economic plan would lead development and create one million jobs and reduce unemployment by about 10 percent.

The U.S. officials also acknowledged doubts about President Trump's intentions but appealed to Palestinians who refuse to talk about the economy before politics. 

"Trump and America have not given up on you," Kushner said.

Last week, the White House called for $50 billion in investments for Palestine and neighboring Arab states as part of the plan, which calls for increased infrastructure projects between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with a stated goal to "empower" the Palestinian people.

Palestinian-Israeli negotiations collapsed in April 2014 after Israel refused to stop settlement activity, accept a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders, and release Palestinian detainees from Israeli jails. 

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