US to co-host economic workshop in new West Asia peace push

Called the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop, it is expected to “will facilitate discussions on an ambitious, achievable vision and framework for a prosperous future for the Palestinian people and the region”.
The plan, it appears to be, is to approach the vexatious issue that has defied resolution for decades from the economic angle in a bid to prevent its outright rejection.(HT Photo)
The plan, it appears to be, is to approach the vexatious issue that has defied resolution for decades from the economic angle in a bid to prevent its outright rejection.(HT Photo)
Updated on May 21, 2019 09:04 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Washington | ByYashwant Raj

The Trump administration on Sunday began rolling out its long-awaited West Asia peace plan with an announcement of an “economic workshop” the US will host with Bahrain in June to seek investments for Palestine and other countries in the region impacted by the decades-old conflict.

“This workshop is a pivotal opportunity to convene government, civil society, and business leaders to share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement,” the White House said in a statement.

Called the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop, it is expected to “will facilitate discussions on an ambitious, achievable vision and framework for a prosperous future for the Palestinian people and the region”.

The plan, it appears to be, is to approach the vexatious issue that has defied resolution for decades from the economic angle in a bid to prevent its outright rejection. The political aspects, regarding the creation of a Palestinian state, territorial claims and the status of Jerusalem, will follow as the next stage.

Palestinians have refused contacts with the Trump administration since 2017 when the president recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and have pushed back against the new plan.

“We were not consulted by any party on the announced meeting to take place in Manama, Bahrain. We have not mandated any party to negotiate on our behalf,” Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement.

The workshop, which is part of larger West Asia peace plan being put together by President Tump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, is to raise an estimated $68 billion for Palestine, Egypt and Jordan, according to The New York Times.

Trump is not likely to attend the conference as he will be headed for G-20 meetings in Japan around then. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin will be going instead.

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