Tuesday, 16 Jul 2019 - 13 of Tammuz, 5779

EU to attend the economic workshop in Bahrein at ‘technical level’

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LUXEMBOURG—The European Union will attend the economic workshop in Manama, Bahrein, on June 25-26 at technical level but this participation ‘’doesn’t cast any shadow on the strong and clear EU commitment, shared by all member states, on the need to have a political solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,’’ said Monday EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after a meeting of the EU foreign ministers with their Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in Luxembourg.

The Bahrain workshop, which is is the first part of an American peace proposal,  known as the ‘’deal of the century’’ and developed by  Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law . Jared Kushner, is expected to deal with revitalizing the Palestinian economy.

‘’Any economic plan cannot be a substitute for a political solution,’’ Mogherini stressed at a press conference following the meeting. ”We will be represented in the workshop as we are always intended in getting more insides on possible steps or plan that can be put forward,” she added.

Mogherini, who will end in November her 5-year mandate as High Representative for the EU’s foreign and security policy, reiterated the EU support for the two-state solution as ‘the only viable solution” with the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side with an Israeli state, with a clear status for Jerusalem  as the capital of both states and with respect of the international parameters that are clearly well known.’’

She said she heard ‘’some elements’’ of the economic plan presented during a meeting earlier this month in Brussels with Jared Kushner, without elaborating. ‘’We will go to Bahrein to understand what it is about without any engagement,’’ she added. ‘’We will never accept any economic plan without sharing a political framework,’’ she said.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini with Jordan Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Luxembourg on Monday.

At the press conference, the Jordanian Foreign Minister said his country has not yet made a decision about the country’s participation in the workshop despite earlier reports saying the country will be present as well as Egypt.

Safadi also insisted that ‘’no economic plan can be a substitute for a political plan.” ‘’It is not because there is unemployment and lack of growth that there is a conflict. It is because there is an occupation that continues. We need a political solution that will end the occupation and allow the emergence of a free, viable and independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem as capital.’’

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