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Who is attending US-led Bahrain summit on Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital. [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 June, 2019

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The declared aim is achieving Palestinian prosperity - although Ramallah is boycotting the event, which they see as an attempt to buy them off.

The US is set to co-chair a two-day conference in Bahrain from Tuesday focusing on the economic aspects of President Donald Trump's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

The declared aim is achieving Palestinian prosperity - but Palestinians are boycotting the event, which they see as an attempt to buy them off.

The workshop in Manama will bring together government, business and civil society leaders, according to a joint statement by the two organising countries. 

It could see large-scale investment pledges for the occupied Palestinian territories but is unlikely to focus heavily on the political issues at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian boycott

The Palestinians confirmed in May they would not participate in the conference, adding they were not consulted before it was announced.

"Palestine will not attend the Manama meeting," a statement on the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) website said.

The Palestinians confirmed in May they would not participate in the conference, adding they were not consulted before it was announced

"This is a collective Palestinian position, from President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee to all Palestinian political movements and factions, national figures, private sector and civil society."

Abbas reiterated his position on Saturday as the US unveiled details of the plan. The Palestinian leader said a political solution must come before any discussion of economic issues.

The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

Palestinians consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their future state and have opposed the planned US peace plan, which they fear will be heavily biased in favour of Israel.

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who spearheaded the summit, said a delegation of Palestinian businessmen would also attend.

Most are thought to be linked to Hebron-based businessman Ashraf Jabari, who is one of the only confirmed Palestinian attendees.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said Israelis will attend, but it was unclear whether they would include government officials or business leaders. 

Diplomatic correspondents from six Israeli media outlets - the newspapers Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom, Channel 12 and Channel 13 and the website The Times of Israel - were invited.

Gulf countries

Gulf powerhouses Saudi Arabia and the UAE last month welcomed the economic conference. 

Riyadh said it would send Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri, saying Saudi participation reaffirms the kingdom's "firm position to support the Palestinian people to achieve their stability and growth", according to the official Saudi Press Agency

Abu Dhabi's foreign ministry also said it would send a delegation, but reiterated that it supports the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

It remains unclear whether Qatar - isolated by regional former allies, including Bahrain, in a long-running diplomatic dispute - will attend the conference.

Qatar, a close US ally, said it "has followed the call by the United States" to hold a workshop in Manama, according to a foreign ministry statement. 

It added it would "spare no effort" to address challenges facing the Arab region, but did not say whether it would be represented at the meeting.

Kuwait said they will boycotting the conference and Oman have not confirmed whether they will attend.

Jordan, Egypt and Morocco

Jordan and Egypt - the only Arab countries to have signed peace deals with Israel - finally confirmed their attendance on Saturday. 

Jordan's treaty with Israel is overwhelmingly opposed by the public, more than half of whom are of Palestinian origin. 

Both countries however said officials from their finance ministries would attend the workshop. 

Jordan's foreign ministry spokesman Sufyan al-Qudah confirmed that Amman would send the secretary general from its finance ministry, without giving a name.

Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez told AFP that Cairo would send a delegation headed by a deputy finance minister, again without giving a name.

On Monday, Morocco announced it would take part in the conference.

Rabat, which does not have relations with Israel, said it would be represented by an official from the economy ministry, according to the official news agency MAP. 

The United Nations announced on 12 June that it would send its deputy Middle East coordinator Jamie McGoldrick to the event.

Most European allies of the US, uneasy about the Trump administration's hawkish instincts, are staying away from Bahrain.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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