Wednesday, October 23, 2019

(Ynetnews) President Donald Trump’s top Mideast advisers face skeptical audiences as they visit several locations in the region and in Europe to rally support for what they have billed as a workshop on the economic foundations of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The White House is promoting the June 25-26 meeting in Bahrain as the first phase of its long-awaited Mideast peace plan, which envisions large-scale investment and infrastructure work, much of it funded by wealthy Arab countries, in the Palestinian territories.

But American officials say the Bahrain conference will not include the core political issues of the conflict: borders of a Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees or Israeli security demands.

The Palestinians will not attend the Bahrain meeting, rejecting the parameters of the conference, while key American allies Egypt and Jordan have not announced their plans for participation.

For now, the Americans are pinning their hopes on wealthy Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, hoping their regional influence and deep pockets can make the conference a success.

The absence of a political horizon has put American allies in the region in a bind. Heavily reliant on the U.S. for political and military support, it is difficult for countries like Jordan to say no to the invitation. But the Palestinian issue resonates deeply with the Arab public and it is difficult for leaders to embrace a plan that does not promise the Palestinians a state.

 

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