Two-day workshop begins in Manama; PA boycotting the event, PBA announces it will sue participants for endangering its state security; Abbas claims PA ready to reenter negotiations, however, “we will not be slaves or servants for Greenblatt, Kushner and Friedman.”
The first phase of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” kicked off in Bahrain on Tuesday, a two-day workshop proposing investment into the Palestinian economy, as well as local states, in efforts to mediate a future peace agreement with the State of Israel. Not only is the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop being boycotted by the Palestinian Authority (PA), members of the Palestinian Bar Association (PBA) announced on Tuesday that they would sue participants of the conference in Manama under claims of harming “state security”.
Representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco are in attendance, as well as Israeli representation from the private sector. But no Israeli officials or politicians were invited to the conference. A group of Israeli journalists was also permitted to attend the conference. Another sign of warming ties between Israel with neighboring Arab and Muslim states, as Israelis are banned from entering the majority of Middle Eastern countries.
Aspects and details of the peace deal were released ahead of the event on Sunday. The detailed plan proposes $50 billion investment in the Palestinian and neighboring countries economies, including the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. Projects spanning from transportation between the locations, trade, and tourism would see around $28 billion invested into the Palestinian’s economy, with $7.5 billion going to Jordan and $9 billion to Egypt and $6 billion to Lebanon. The plan claims it would create 1 million jobs within a decade.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas sent mixed messages to the media when he claimed that the Bahrain conference would fail to report then that the Palestinians are ready to return to the negotiating table. Abbas said on Sunday that “We are certain that the workshop in Manama will not be successful… [and] we will not be slaves or servants for Greenblatt, Kushner and Friedman,” President Trump’s Middle East diplomatic team. He then claimed the Palestinians were ready to return to negotiations and that he is willing to “continue what I started with President Trump.” The only preconditions for the Palestinians, he claimed, would be recognition of east Jerusalem and commitment to a two-state solution.