World, Economy, Middle East

Saudi, UAE to attend US-led workshop in Bahrain

U.S. says the meeting is aimed at attracting investment to the region -- especially the West Bank and Gaza

Mahmoud Barakat   | 22.05.2019
Saudi, UAE to attend US-led workshop in Bahrain


Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will attend a U.S.-led economic workshop in Bahrain next month aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 

U.S. administration officials are expected to unveil during the event the economic aspects of the U.S. back-channel Middle East peace plan known as “deal of the century”. 

Saudi Arabia's official SPA news agency said Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri will participate in the workshop. 

The participation comes as a "continuation of Saudi Arabia's permanent and supportive stance to the Palestinian people and what would help it achieve stability, development and good living," SPA said. 

The UAE also confirmed participation in the meeting. 

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said Abu Dhabi stands by “all efforts aimed at achieving prosperity in the region and enhancing opportunities for economic growth”. 

Slated for June 25 and 26, the workshop will reportedly be headed up by senior White House adviser (and U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law) Jared Kushner and Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt. 

It is also expected to be attended by a host of finance officials and business leaders from several countries. 

According to the White House, the meeting is aimed at attracting investment to the region -- especially the West Bank and Gaza -- within the context of the U.S. peace plan, full details of which are expected to be unveiled sometime next month. 

The umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has said that the U.S. administration did not consult the Palestinian leadership regarding the economic meeting. 

Palestinian resistance group Hamas has said that the insistence to hold the workshop despite Palestinian rejection forms "implication in the deal of the century". 

Since the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has refused to take part in U.S. peacemaking efforts. 

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