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Associated Press

Protesters Storm Bahraini Embassy in Iraqi Capital to Protest US-Led Palestinian Peace Summit

06-28-2019
Associated Press Video Screenshot

JERUSALEM, Israel – Rioters attacked the Bahrain embassy in Iraq in protest to the US  plan rolled out at the peace to prosperity workshop in Bahrain.

Palestinians rioted and burned President Donald Trump in effigy in the West Bank as the US offered them a potential $28 billion investment-deal over the next ten years that would potentially transform their economy.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US wants the international community to buy into the program.

"We want this to become not a United States plan. We want this to become an international plan. So now the plan is out there, we're looking for changes,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority boycotted the event because the plan doesn’t satisfy their political demands like creating an independent state.

"The national rights are not real estate sold and bought with money,” said PA President Mahmoud Abbas. “And reaching a political solution that guarantees freedom, dignity, independence and legitimacy for our people must be before any economical programs or projects, because this will create stability and security for all.”

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the plan could work.

"It is a welfare based Palestinian economy and what Jared (Kushner, US president's senior adviser) and Jason (Greenblatt, US Mideast envoy) have proposed in the Bahrain conference is basically to change welfare into investment and, actually, it connects the two. I think that's a brilliant idea. How do I know? Because we did it in Israel and it worked, that's why we are where we are today."

Other reactions were mixed.

"The thing that's very obvious to me is the following; number one this is an economic plan that if it's implemented is obviously going to do enormous benefit to the Palestinian people. Number two, obviously it isn't a substitute for the politics,” said Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Saudi Minister of State Mohammed Al-Sheikh sounded hopeful.  

"If we managed to do it 25 years ago with significantly less money I'm pretty sure that it can be done today with the amounts of money and with the private sector participation, if we can achieve that hope of peace for everybody to start working together to achieve what we're trying to achieve."

Thirty-nine countries from around the world attended the joint US-Bahrain sponsored economic conference.

In his opening comments, Trump’s Senior Advisor Jared Kushner said the summit  was intended to stop repeating what didn’t work in the past and look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a different lens.

"My direct message to the Palestinian people is that despite what those who have let you down in the past tell you, President Trump and America have not given up on you. This workshop is for you. The vision we developed and released, if executed correctly, will lead to a better future for the Palestinian people: a future of dignity, prosperity and opportunity,” Kushner said.

For Israel, there’s already signs of a payoff.  Bahrain’s foreign minister told Israeli press that his country recognizes Israel’s right to exist and wants peace with the Jewish state.  

 

 

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