Saudi Arabia: Palestinian initiative ‘a great opportunity to bring prosperity and opportunities’

Eagle1

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Saudi Arabia: Palestinian initiative ‘a great opportunity to bring prosperity and opportunities’
Arab News
June 26, 2019
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Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan speaking during a panel discussion in Bahrain on a plan for Palestinian economic prosperity. (Screengrab)

  • UAE’s Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al-Tayer said "we should give this initiative a chance."
  • Tony Blair insists to Jared Kushner that there must be a two-state solution
MANAMA: Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said Wednesday the Kingdom will support whatever economic plan will bring prosperity to the Palestinians.

Speaking on the second day of an international conference on a US initiative to improve the economic plight of Gaza and the West Bank, Al-Jadaan said he was “very, very optimistic” about the plan.

“The region is in desperate need of prosperity and hope and we and our colleagues share the view that whatever brings prosperity to this region, we will support it,” he said, alongside US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin and the Bahraini and Emirati finance ministers.

“We have been a great supporter of Palestine for decades … so its not something we are going to shy away from and we will continue supporting the Palestinians,” Al-Jadaan added.

LIVE: Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan says we have started seeing positive spillover from Vision 2030 into the region. peace to prosperity workshop #PeaceToProsperity #BahrainConference pic.twitter.com/Mkr1HKqwYL
— Arab News (@arabnews) June 26, 2019
The initiative was outlined by Donald Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner on Tuesday as the conference in Bahrain got under way. The $50 billion economic formula would see investment in infrastructure, tourism and education.


Palestinian leaders have accused the plan of legitimising Israel’s occupation of their territory and for being secondary to a political resolution to the conflict. But on the second day of the conference, both Arab and western political leaders, ministers and business chiefs discussed what needed to be done to make the plan work.

Al-Jadaan said the plan was a “great opportunity” and that there was a “significant international commitment” to support the people of Palestine to bring prosperity and opportunities.

“You need political commitment, you need clear transparency, you need predictability for the private sector to join, you need the rule of law … and you want to make sure that there is proper governance in place,” he said.

The UAE’s Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al-Tayer said "we should give this initiative a chance."

Earlier, Jared Kushner discussed the initiative with the former British prime minister Tony Blair, who insisted there still must be a two-state solution to the conflict. The White House has not said it backs the principle, and the political element of its plan has not yet been revealed.

LIVE: #JaredKushner says the leadership in #Gaza has to "change their business plan" because it hasn't worked for the last 12 years. peace to prosperity workshop #PeaceToProsperity #BahrainConference pic.twitter.com/oUqhA2hYNm
— Arab News (@arabnews) June 26, 2019
"It's absolutely foolish to believe you can have economics without sound politics, but it's likewise completely futile to think politics will work without economics buttressing it," Blair told the gathering.

The foreign minister of Bahrain also reiterated the need for a two-state solution but said the plan was an "opportunity not to be missed".
"I think if we take this matter seriously it could be a very important game-changer," Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said.

In an earlier panel, Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas said the initiative “will definitely require a lot of work but it is definitely achievable.”
Bahrain’s Labor Market CEO Osama Al-Absi, told the panel, entitled Empowering the People, “we must look at how post-war economies were built” in order to make the plan work.

International Monetary Fund managing director, Christine Lagarde, said generating economic growth in conflict-riven countries can be a struggle.

The IMF puts unemployment at 30 percent in the West Bank and 50 percent in Gaza, which has suffered years of Israeli and Egyptian blockades and recent foreign aid cuts and sanctions by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas' rival in the Israeli-occupied West bank.

"Gaza right now is feeling a lot of pain because of bad leadership and the sanctions that have been imposed on them because of it," Kushner said. "So the question that (Hamas)leadership has to ask themselves is...do they hate their neighbour in Israel more than they love their citizens and their people?"

The 179 proposed infrastructure and business projects in the plan include a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza, which has been floated before and stalled for lack of underlying political or security agreements.

Palestinian businessman Ashraf Jabari, chairman of the Palestinian Business Network, told the gathering it is difficult to build an economy with a "siege and unstable situation".

"Frankly, we demand an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967," said the businessman from Hebron who has co-founded a trade group to boost business between Palestinians and Israeli settlers."

Neither the Israeli nor Palestinian governments attended the Bahrain meeting, which takes place amid a years-long stalemate in other international efforts to resolve the conflict.

Senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official Hanan Ashrawi, speaking in Ramallah, said the Manama conference was "quite disingenuous".
"It is totally divorced from reality. The elephant in the room is the (Israeli) occupation itself," she said.
*With Reuters

 

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I thought KSA supported two state solution?

How can they sell out Palestinians for a plan that doesn't even mention the word Palestine? A plan that gives all of Jerusalem to Israel? A plan that doesn't recognise the Palestinian right of return? A plan that legitimises and annexes large parts of the West Bank's illegal settlements?


The Arab Peace Initiative was a good proposal, this deal is a total Zionist dream written by chief Zionists Kushner and Bibi...
 

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I thought KSA supported two state solution?

How can they sell out Palestinians for a plan that doesn't even mention the word Palestine? A plan that gives all of Jerusalem to Israel? A plan that doesn't recognise the Palestinian right of return? A plan that legitimises and annexes large parts of the West Bank's illegal settlements?


The Arab Peace Initiative was a good proposal, this deal is a total Zionist dream written by chief Zionists Kushner and Bibi...
This is purely economic as clearly stated in the article. It has nothing to do with politics nor Saudi own palestine to sell it. The peace initiative still on the table for Israel to accept.
 

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This is purely economic as clearly stated in the article. It has nothing to do with politics nor Saudi own palestine to sell it. The peace initiative still on the table for Israel to accept.
We can make deductions about the political side from this. For example, lots of specific projects mentioned for Gaza and Lebanon etc but no mention at all of East Jerusalem. Also lots of investment in neighbouring countries (Egypt, Lebanon) for the specific purpose of absorbing Palestinian refugees, aka no right of return.


This isn't a conflict about money, it's about land and recognition of sovereignty and other symbolic rights.
 

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We can make deductions about the political side from this. For example, lots of specific projects mentioned for Gaza and Lebanon etc but no mention at all of East Jerusalem. Also lots of investment in neighbouring countries (Egypt, Lebanon) for the specific purpose of absorbing Palestinian refugees, aka no right of return.


This isn't a conflict about money, it's about land and recognition of sovereignty and other symbolic rights.
Something, surprisingly pre-1948 the Palestinians didn't think of, when they sold thier land and houses at above market rates to Jewish settlers. But yet here we have you, shedding tears of blood for them.
 

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Something, surprisingly pre-1948 the Palestinians didn't think of, when they sold thier land and houses at above market rates to Jewish settlers. But yet here we have you, shedding tears of blood for them.
Ridiculous comment. If you want to support this "deal" designed by rabid Zionists in Kushner and Bibi then say why it's a good deal and why it's better than the Arab Peace Initiative put forth by the Arab League.
 

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Ridiculous comment. If you want to support this "deal" designed by rabid Zionists in Kushner and Bibi then say why it's a good deal and why it's better than the Arab Peace Initiative put forth by the Arab League.
Well to a Mullah lover everything sounds ridiculous, except for rabid mullah rhetoric.
 

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Well to a Mullah lover everything sounds ridiculous, except for rabid mullah rhetoric.


In my opinion, the Arab Peace Initiative was the best framework to resolve the I/P issue. But Israel did not like it (because they never wanted a Palestinian state and Bibi has staked his electoral mandate and not allowing a Palestinian state), so Kushner made a new deal to give Israelis everything they want and try to get the Arabs on board. I'm not saying don't give it a chance, but if it doesn't meet any of the core Palestinian interests then of course it's a deal that has no chance of gaining traction.
 

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We can make deductions about the political side from this. For example, lots of specific projects mentioned for Gaza and Lebanon etc but no mention at all of East Jerusalem. Also lots of investment in neighbouring countries (Egypt, Lebanon) for the specific purpose of absorbing Palestinian refugees, aka no right of return.


This isn't a conflict about money, it's about land and recognition of sovereignty and other symbolic rights.
That is your opinion. But this purpose of this meeting is in black and white. Hamas doesn’t like that because its going to be cut off of funds. The US and Saudi Arabia being the largest donors to Palestine would want to implement some restrictions on cash flowing to Palestine that ends up in Hamas’ hands. This won’t be the case anymore. No cash period. All contribution will be in form of materials, goods...etc. Saudi Arabia rebuilt Gaza 6 times, twice in case of Lebanon. Hamas grew because of Arab/US funds that went to Hamas instead of going to the Palestinians. Hamas on the other hand, has built no hospitals, no schools, no housing. All done by Saudi Arabia. The Palestinian budget is paid by Arab countries. This conference is purely economic and has nothing to do with politics whatsoever. Saudi Arabia 3 last summits held in Makkah back in Ramadan along with all Islamic and Arab countries reaffirmed Palestinians right to establish their own country based on 67 border agreement with East Jerusalem as its capital. Hamas can now continue sucking the money of the Iranian people paid by Khamenei. There is only one internationally recognized legitimate government of Palestine and that is the Palestinian National Authority.
 

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That is your opinion. But this purpose of this meeting is in black and white. This conference is purely economic and has nothing to do with politics whatsoever. Saudi Arabia 3 last summits held in Makkah back in Ramadan along with all Islamic and Arab countries reaffirmed Palestinians right to establish their own country based on 67 border agreement with East Jerusalem as its capital. There is only one internationally recognized legitimate government of Palestine and that is the Palestinian National Authority.
I respect your opinion. We will wait until the end of this year for the political part of the deal to see.
 

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