U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera this weekend that the upcoming U.S.-led economic workshop hosted by Bahrain in Manama is an attempt to “jumpstart the Palestinian economy.”
“That’s the purpose and that’s the focus” of the ‘Peace to Prosperity‘ workshop, Friedman said. “To improve the quality of life of Palestinians.”
The Palestinian Authority, however, has officially rejected the American effort and instead is organizing protests against the workshop in front of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the capital cities of each Arab nation participating in the summit.
“I don’t know that the Palestinian Authority is the last word on how to create a better life for the Palestinians,” Friedman said in the interview. “The Palestinians themselves should have a say in that.”
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, and a host of private international Arab businessmen say they plan to attend.