Israeli Business Delegation Invited to Bahrain Conference Instead of Government Officials

White House's Kushner meets Netanyahu in Jerusalem visit

TEL AVIV – The White House announced on Monday that no Israeli government representative will be invited to take part in next week’s U.S.-led peace workshop in Bahrain, where the Trump administration is set to unveil the economic part of its long-anticipated plan. 

The announcement comes one day after Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Israel would be attending the workshop.

Senior administration officials said that Israel’s attendance could harm the purpose of the conference. “During the economic conference in Bahrain, we will present our economic vision for the Palestinian people and therefore we want to focus on the economic aspect and not on the political aspect,” an official said.

A delegation from Israel’s business community, however, is expected to take part in the summit.

Last week, the White House announced that Jordan, Egypt and Morocco would participate in the conference, joining Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.

The Palestinians have snubbed the summit.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently said the conference will “go to hell” along with the Trump administration’s peace plan.

“The Palestinian Authority does not recognize this conference,” Abbas said.

“Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ will go to hell, as will the economic workshop in Bahrain that the Americans intend to hold and present illusions,” he added.

“Whoever is interested in proposing a solution to the Palestinian issue should begin with a diplomatic solution.”

The PA has boycotted the U.S. since Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.

According to Axios, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he respected the White House’s decision not to include Israeli officials at the Manama summit.

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