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US: Israeli Govt. Officials Not Invited to Bahrain Conference

US: Israeli Govt. Officials Not Invited to Bahrain Conference

Monday, 17 June, 2019 - 18:15
Israeli government officials will not be invited to Bahrain conference. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Israeli government officials will not be invited to the Bahrain conference on gaining support for a Palestinian economic plan, a senior administration official said on Monday, according to Reuters.

“We’re inviting the Israeli business people and Palestinian business people. We’d like to make it as apolitical as possible,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Palestinian business representatives are expected to attend the event in Manama on June 25-26, but not Palestinian government officials, who have boycotted a peace initiative led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

The economic plan, touted by Trump as the "deal of the century," is to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Arab donor countries before grappling with thorny political issues at the heart of the conflict.

While the precise outlines of the draft peace plan have yet to be revealed, Palestinian and Arab sources who have been briefed on it say it jettisons the two-state solution.

Palestinian President Mohammed Abbas has heaped scorn on the Bahrain conference and urged Arab governments not to attend.

“Whatever is rejected by the Palestinian or the Arab side is unacceptable,” said Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit said during an event at the organization on Monday.

He warned that attempts to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict will be in vain without the establishment of a Palestinian state on all territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

Abul Gheit said that Israel’s acceptance of an Arab Peace Initiative drawn up by Saudi Arabia in 2002 was the only acceptable solution for Arab states.

“If (Israel) chooses the only reasonable and accepted way from our side as Arabs, which is the establishment of a Palestinian state ... it will be accepted in the region as a normal regional partner,” he said.

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