US launches economic formula for Middle East peace, Palestinians unhappy


MANAMA – The Trump administration launched a $50 billion economic formula for Israeli-Palestinian peace yesterday, saying an investment programme for the Palestinians was a precondition for ending the decades-old conflict. U.S. President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner opened a two-day international meeting in Bahrain to rally support for the blueprint, which has met broad disdain from Palestinians and others in the Arab world although regional U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia discreetly support it.

“We can turn this region from a victim of past conflicts into a model for commerce and advancement throughout the world,” Kushner told the gathering, attended by the heads of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was scathing about its prospects: “Money is important. The economy is important … The political solution is more important.”(Reuters)…[+]