Lack of trust

Tuesday, 2019-06-25 16:49:06
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NDO - The first sketches of the new Middle East Peace Plan, which the US has long praised as a “deal of the century”, will be revealed at an international economic conference to be held in the capital of Bahrain on June 25-26. However, the absence of the “main player”, Palestine, seemed to undermine the extent of the event in Manama as well as the ambitious scheme of Washington.

The plan to create peace in the Middle East region was built by the administration of the US President Donald Trump for over two years and it has always been affirmed as a “deal of the century”. For many reasons, Washington continued to postpone the publication date and also kept its content confidential, only revealing that the new peace plan would include two distinct aspects related to politics and economics, aiming at the final goal of resolving the conflict between Paris and Israel. Of which, the economic aspect will make its “debut” at the conference in Bahrain.

At the conference under the theme “Peace to Prosperity”, the US intends to introduce economic projects in the new Middle East peace deal, thereby promoting “a more prosperous future for the Palestinian people”. Washington set a goal that during the two-day conference in Manama, an investment fund worth US$50 billion will be set up to support socio-economic development and create about one million jobs for the Palestinians. It will concentrateon four main areas, including infrastructure, industry, social development and government reform. Potential investors will be mainly rich countries in the Persian Gulf.

The deal is ambitious, and the US and the host country Bahrain have also exerted great efforts to prepare for the conference. There are many countries in the region and US allies and partners who are interested in the project have accepted their invitation to attend the conference. However, the unusual thing is that the main parties such as Palestine and Israel seemed to refuse to listen to the US intentions.

Being a “beneficiary” party, but from the beginning, Palestine flatly rejected the US giant project. On the threshold of the opening of the international economic conference in Manama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and high-ranking officials in the West Bank rejected the plan, saying that the economic situation should not be discussed before the political one and reiterated that as long as there is no political solution; Palestine will not deal with any economic solution. Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, echoed President Abbas’s words, affirming that the economic track is not a solution and that the funds were meaningless as long as the occupation continues, and Palestine must be ensured as a free and sovereign nation.

Therefore, with a different approach, the new peace deal of the US Government is difficult to convince Palestine, as well as many partners, even US allies. Not to mention that the US has recently been criticised for its biased behaviour towards Israel, which is evident in a series of controversial acts, such as transferring its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, or its recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights... With the new peace deal ignoring the core solution, “the two-state solution”, instead of an economic project, the US has been more sceptical about its intermediary role in the Middle East peace process.

By November, the US will officially announce the “deal of the century”. However, at this time, the economic part of the plan alone pushed the US into the centre of public scepticism. Even Arab nations who are US allies do not support such a biased solution. With an ambitious plan, but lack of trust, how can the US assume the role of a mediator and peace maker between Israel and Palestine?