1st part of Middle East peace plan unveiled by White House

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Bahrain and the USA said Sunday they are hosting a "Peace to Prosperity" conference in late June to promote better economic fortunes for Palestinians if a peace agreement can be reached with Israel.

In a joint statement with Bahrain, the White House said the coming workshop would give government, civil and business leaders a chance to gather support for economic initiatives that could be possible with a peace agreement.

USA officials, while briefing reporters, declined to provide any specific details about the political portion of the plan, but said this will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Jared Kushner, Senior Adviser to President Donald Trump, praised Bahrain on Sunday for hosting the workshop.

"We think this is an opportunity to take the economic plan that we've worked on for a long time now and present it in the region", a senior Trump administration official said. "The financial crisis the Palestinian Authority is living through today is a result of the financial war that is being launched against us in order to win political concessions", Shtayyeh told the cabinet.

"We're looking not to make this about no discussion of the political" aspect of the plan at this time, the senior administration official said.

"Any economic plan without political horizons will lead nowhere..." However, some pro-Palestine advocates have argued that a two-state solution has long become impossible, arguing that a one-state solution with equal right for its Palestinian and Israeli citizens is the only way forward. The US wants to ensure security for Israel and economic opportunity to improve the lives of Palestinians. He reiterated the "well known" official Palestinian position being "full implementation of the long overdue inalienable rights of the Palestinian people as per global law and United Nations resolutions, with an independent State of Palestine on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem its capital and a just solution to all final status issues based on worldwide law and the Arab Peace Initiative".

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The White House peace plan has been put together without participation from the Palestinians.

The plan envisions large-scale investment and infrastructure work in the Palestinian territories.

A USA official told reporters that invitations to the workshop were being sent to people in the United States, Europe, the Gulf, the wider Arab world and "some" Palestinian business leaders.

Since being shunned by the Palestinian leadership, it has cut back on United States aid for them, contributing to economic hardship in the West Bank and Gaza.

It will not address critical political disputes that have stalled previous attempts, including the final borders of a future Palestinian state, a decision over who controls Jerusalem and what happens to millions of Palestinian refugees.

Israel's Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is expected to head the Israeli delegation to the summit, Haaretz said. The Trump administration's focus on economy first "obscures the fact that the Palestinian economy is heavily shaped by Israel's occupation and settler colonial enterprise".

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