Netanyahu says Israelis to attend Bahrain conference

Jerusalem (AFP) –


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israelis will take part in a conference in Bahrain next week that is part of the United States' Middle East peace plan.

"An important conference will soon be held in Bahrain and Israelis will of course participate," Netanyahu said at an event in Tel Aviv.

US President Donald Trump's administration organised the conference, which is to be held on June 25 and 26 in Manama, Bahrain for the unveiling of the economic component of the US peace plan.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has been drafting the long-awaited plan, but it has been rejected in advance by the Palestinians, who expect the proposals to heavily favour Israel.

The plan is aimed at providing economic opportunities for the Palestinians, but Kushner has hinted it will not endorse international calls for the creation of a Palestinian state.

"We welcome American attempts to provide regional solutions for a better future," Netanyahu said.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Monday that Israel would be represented at the conference, without giving further details.

US allies the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have announced they will take part in the conference.

The White House has also said that Egypt, Jordan and Morocco will attend, although these three countries have yet to confirm this.

The Palestinian leadership has said it will boycott the US-led peace conference, and a number of prominent Palestinian businessmen have also rejected invites.

The Palestinians have boycotted the US administration since Trump broke with decades of consensus and recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.

They consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their own future state.

Media reports in Israel on Tuesday said the country would only be represented by private businessmen.