Amir Tibon and Jack Khoury write in Haaretz, “Jordan, Egypt and Morocco will attend the U.S.-sponsored conference on investment in Palestinian areas in Bahrain in late June, a White House official said Tuesday. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their regional rival Qatar have already told the Trump administration they will attend the June conference. Meanwhile, Russia will be boycotting the event, which will focus on investment in Palestinian economy, but not have any Palestinian representatives due to the strained relations between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority.
The White House hailed the countries’ attendance as “welcome news,” a sign “that our workshop is gathering momentum as we had anticipated.” An Egyptian source told London-based, pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat that Cairo accepts the invitation to attend the conference in Bahrain, but “that does not mean it will accept the peace plan.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Jordan’s King Abdullah told Jordanian media that his country “should take part” in international conferences concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, naming the upcoming Bahrain summit “or other conferences,” so that Amman “wouldn’t be left out of the room.”
Abdullah reportedly made this statement during a meeting with public figures, former ministers and journalists in Amman, but an official press release makes no mention of any references to the Bahrain conference. Jordan “will not abandon Jerusalem,” Abduallah was quoted as saying, adding the his government is working in coordination with other Arab and foreign governments in order to reach agreed solutions to what he described as the Palestinian issue.
The economic conference on June 25-26, which will focus on the future of the Palestinian economy. The Trump administration will release the economic chapter of the peace plan before the conference, but not the political part, which deals with more sensitive aspects of the conflict.
The Palestinians hope Arab countries will support their position and reject the plan, which they believe will be one-sided and skewed in favor of Israel. The U.S. administration, meanwhile, hopes to convince as many Arab nations as possible to at least consider the plan as a basis for negotiations. Jordan is a key player in this political and diplomatic battle for several reasons. Historically, it is responsible for safeguarding Islam’s holy sites in Jerusalem; it has a peace treaty with Israel; and a majority of its citizens are Palestinians.” This article is printed in its entirety.