White House encouraging investment in Middle East as part of peace plan

The White House announced on Sunday the first part of its much-anticipated Middle East peace plan, which will involve encouraging investment in the West Bank, in Gaza and throughout the region.

The U.S., in partnership with Bahrain, will host a “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop in Bahrain's capital, Manama, on June 25 and June 26, the countries said in a joint statement. The workshop will bring together leaders in government, civil society and business to "share ideas, discuss strategies, and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement," officials said.

It will particularly focus on building a prosperous future for the Palestinian people, officials said.


"This workshop will engage leaders from across the entire Middle East to promote economic growth and opportunity for the people in this important region,” Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocratic lawmaker calls Trump a 'moron' for his handling of Iran Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn't need Congress to approve Iran strikes in interview with The Hill | New sanctions hit Iran's supreme leader | Schumer seeks to delay defense bill amid Iran tensions | Esper's first day as acting Pentagon chief Treasury inspector general to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills MORE said in the statement. 

Bahrain Minister of Finance and National Economy Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa touted the workshop's "strong and shared interest in creating thriving economic opportunities that benefit the region."

The statement did not mention tension between the Israelis and Palestinians or whether such political issues would be addressed. White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump puts the cart before the horse in Palestine Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline GOP launches 'WinRed' online fundraising site in response to Democrats' small-donor advantage MORE and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt have been tasked with developing a peace plan for the region. Kushner has said that the full plan will not be released until June at the earliest. 

He told CNN in a statement that "people are letting their grandfathers' conflict destroy their children's futures. This will present an exciting, realistic and viable pathway forward that does not currently exist."

A senior administration official told the news network that the meeting aims to encourage investment in the West Bank, Gaza and the region and will focus on infrastructure, industry, empowering and investing in people, and governance reforms "to make the area as investible as possible."