UAE, Saudi Arabia Confirm Participation in U.S. Peace Summit in Bahrain

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have confirmed their participation in a U.S.-sponsored peace conference in Bahrain in June, during which the United States is set to announce the economic aspects of its long-awaited peace plan.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs “welcomed” the announcement of the summit in a statement Wednesday, which emphasized the potential benefits for the Palestinian people in engaging with U.S.-led peace efforts.

“The UAE supports all international efforts aimed at supporting economic progress and increasing opportunities in the region, and alleviating the suffering of people in the region, particularly our brothers in Palestine,” the statement said. “It aims to lift the Palestinian people out of misery and to enable them for a stable and prosperous future.”

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon also plans to attend the conference, a spokesman told The Times of Israel on Monday.

Saudi Arabia announced that its Minister of Economy and Planning will attend, as well. “The workshop will discuss potential economic growth, human capital development and the creation of a stimulating investment environment in the region. In general, and in Palestine in particular,” the statement said.

Likewise, Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalida Khalifa wrote on Twitter, “The Kingdom of Bahrain’s hosting of the ‘Peace for Prosperity’ workshop is a continuation of this supportive approach to enable the Palestinian people to enhance their capabilities and strengthen their resources to achieve their legitimate aspirations.”

The workshop will take place on June 25-26, following the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in Bahrain’s capital, Manama.

The Palestinian Authority immediately dismissed the announcement and said they would not participate in the workshop. The Palestinian leadership has already declared the U.S. plan dead on arrival, without engaging in serious negotiations with U.S. officials.

Palestinian Authority Minister Ahmed Majdalani told Reuters on Monday that, “There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop.” Any Palestinian who supports the U.S. peace plan, Majdalani said, “would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel.”

[Photo: Allan Donque / Flickr]