Opening Bahrain workshop, Kushner says economic progress a precondition to peace

Senior Trump adviser tells dignitaries gathered in Manama his plan for the Middle East is ‘the opportunity of the century’ for Palestinians, laments their lack of cooperation

Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, addresses the Peace to Prosperity workshop in Manama, Bahrain

Agence France Presse and Raphael Ahren in Times of Israel,  report, “Kicking off the Trump administration’s international peace conference in Bahrain Tuesday, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said his plan for the Middle East was “the opportunity of the century” for the Palestinians but their acceptance was a precondition to peace. Agreeing on an economic pathway forward is a necessary precondition to resolving the previously unsolvable political issues,” Kushner said as he opened the workshop in the Bahraini capital of Manama, which is being boycotted by the Palestinian Authority.”

“While the two-day meeting will not address political solutions in the Middle East, Kushner acknowledged the need to take them up later. “To be clear, economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict — one that guarantees Israel’s security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people,” he said.”…

“Attending were some Arab finance ministers, the heads of international financial organizations, and private sector business executives and investors from dozens of states. At least five rabbis were at the summit: Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, from the Simon Wiesenthal Center; Rabbi Marc Schneier, an adviser for interfaith affairs to the king of Bahrain; Montreal-based Rabbi Mayer Gniwisch, the owner of a venture capital fund that invests in Israel; and one rabbi who asked to remain unnamed.”

Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa (L) speaking with Rabbi Marc Schneier and Yitzhak Kreiss, head of the Sheba Medical Center in central Israel

“But the participants notably do not include official Israeli or Palestinian delegations, and many countries’ delegations are not headed by cabinet ministers. The Palestinians have rejected the proposal because it does not include a horizon for granting them independence. US officials say the political portion of the plan addressing such thorny issues may not be released until the fall.” (more…)

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