Egypt and Jordan to attend Bahrain conference

Egypt, Morocco and Jordan have confirmed they will attend the US-led economic conference in Bahrain on 25 June, according to a senior White House official.

King Abdullah II said that Jordan’s participation was designed to keep the country informed about everything that was happening, even if he believed that there would be nothing new in the “Deal of the Century”.

The US and Bahrain announced in mid-May that they would host an economic workshop in Manama on 25-26 June that: “Will facilitate discussions on an ambitious, achievable vision and framework for a prosperous future for the Palestinian people and the region.”

Egypt and Jordan’s participation is crucial for the US as they are the only Arab states who have signed peace deals with Israel and have a pivotal role in Israeli-Palestinian relations given their proximity to Gaza and the West Bank.

Egypt, Jordan and Morocco will join Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank for the two-day workshop. The US has also sent invitations to finance ministers from other Arab and non-Arab countries, but Israel is yet to be formally invited. It is believed that the US had wanted to secure several Arab countries’ commitment to attend the workshop before inviting Israel.

The Palestinian Authority said it: “Deeply regrets the declaration of Cairo and Amman about its participation in the workshop and calls on them and all brotherly and friendly countries to withdraw from participating in the workshop. Under the cover of this participation, the US is trying to create solutions outside the realm of international legitimacy that detract from the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people.”

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said yesterday that his country will not attend the event: “Because the Palestinians are not participating and we prefer to have a clear idea about the proposed plan for peace.”