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Kushner: Palestinian Rejection of Manama Workshop is a Strategic Mistake

Kushner: Palestinian Rejection of Manama Workshop is a Strategic Mistake

Tuesday, 25 June, 2019 - 07:15
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is interviewed by Reuters at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, US, June 20, 2019. Reuters
London - Camille al-Taweel
Jared Kushner, adviser to US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, criticized the Palestinian Authority for refusing to attend the Manama workshop, where the US administration will present the economic aspect of its so-called “peace plan.”
“We are pleased with the responses we received on the plan since it was announced on Saturday,” Kushner told a news conference over the phone with a limited group of media outlets, including Asharq Al-Awsat. “What we tried to do was to define the political solution accepted by both sides, but we soon noticed that without an economic future, the political solution could not be consolidated. The Palestinians have been stuck in this situation for a long time.”
They “miss an opportunity” to improve the lives of the Palestinian people, he stressed.
The US presidential adviser said the aim of the Manama workshop was to discuss the economic plan with major investors and development banks to agree on the implementation mechanism when a peace agreement is reached.
“None of this can be implemented without a peace agreement. The economic plan is a demonstration of the possibilities available if a peace agreement is reached,” he continued.
He noted that participants will include delegations of Palestinian and Israeli businessmen.

Despite calls for boycotts, Kushner said participants would come from almost all Arab countries, including Gulf States, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, in addition to businessmen from around the world and representatives from the seven industrialized countries.

“We are encouraged by the extensive presence in the workshop,” he remarked.
“I think the Palestinians are missing an opportunity not to engage in this issue,” he said, noting that the Palestinian move was a “strategic error”.

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