In Blow to Palestinians, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco Going to Bahrain
U.S. officials have confirmed that Egypt, Jordan and Morocco will send representatives to an American-sponsored economic workshop in Bahrain to take place June 25-26, at which the Trump Administration will unveil the first component of its long-anticipated Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The representatives will join counterparts from other regional countries – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar – at the gathering geared toward generating investment for development projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The revelation ends weeks of uncertainty over whether Egypt and Jordan – the only two Arab nations to have formal peace agreements with the Jewish state – would participate. Analysts believe that their commitment to attend could pave the way for the White House to officially invite an Israeli delegation as well. The Palestinian Authority, which is boycotting the conference, has denounced Arab nations going to Manama as “collaborators” and has applied pressure on Middle East and North African leaders to reverse their decisions. “Whoever wants to resolve the Palestinian issue should start with the political issue, then the political issue, then the political issue… and then [we] can talk about the illusions of billions [of dollars] that [the Americans] say they will present [to us],” PA President Mahmoud Abbas asserted last month. If invited, Jerusalem is most likely to dispatch Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to Bahrain.