by WorldTribune Staff, May 23, 2019
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have confirmed they will attend the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop sponsored by the White House and hosted by Bahrain next month.
The Trump administration said it would release the economic component of its long-awaited “Deal of the Century” Middle East peace plan at the conference.
The UAE and Saudis both confirmed on May 21 they would take part in the June 25-26 event.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that the workshop “aims to lift the Palestinian people out of misery and to enable them for a stable and prosperous future.”
Related: Warring Palestinian factions struggle for unity against looming ‘Deal of the Century’, April 28, 2019
“The UAE reiterates its support for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the statement added.
Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA published a statement saying the kingdom’s Minister of Economy and Planning will take part in the Bahrain workshop.
“The minister’s participation in this event is a continuation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s firm positions supportive to the sisterly Palestinian people in a way that achieves their stability, growth, and good living, and achieves their hopes and aspirations and yields security, stability and prosperity for the region in general,” said the statement.
“A number of businessmen and investors from the Arab countries and the world at large in addition to a number of finance ministers will take part in the workshop as they are going to review ideas and investment opportunities in the region and discuss the potentials of economic growth, development of human capital, creation of incentive investment environment in the region in general and in Palestine in particular,” it added.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced on May 20 that it would boycott the economic conference, with its “information minister” Nabil Abu Rudeineh saying that the conference would be a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.
“An economic agreement, with no political discussion on its side, will fail miserably, and we will not accept any proposal that does not include the basis for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Rudeineh said.
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), also rejected the Bahrain economic conference, saying no party was entitled to negotiate on the PA’s behalf.
Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said the conference “serves no other purpose” than to help the Palestinian people “through developing their abilities and enhancing their resources.”