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Israel campaigns against Abbas ahead of Bahrain conference

Even before the Bahrain conference started, Israel is busy explaining why Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is no partner for a peace process.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives at the Arab League's foreign ministers meeting to discuss unannounced U.S. blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian peace, in Cairo, Egypt April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany - RC1DC5E91860
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Egypt and Jordan eventually gave in to US entreaties and announced they would attend the June 25 economic conference in Bahrain. It was not easy, and Al-Monitor has learned that Israel had a substantial role in the persuasion attempts in a bid to save the conference, to which the Americans attach great importance. For the Americans, what is at stake is the prestige and honor of President Donald Trump. Israel is probably not interested in a conference of this kind, during which the United States is expected to unveil the economic component of its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, especially not at the height of the campaign ahead of the Sept. 17 elections. Nonetheless, it has to help its ally avoid failure, for obvious reasons.

In light of the Palestinian intention to boycott the event, Egyptian and Jordanian participation is essential. As far as the United States is concerned, without them there is no point in holding an economic conference focused on the Palestinian issue. Now that the two important and influential members of the pragmatic Muslim club have sent their RSVPs, things can get underway. As for the outcome of the meeting — that is a different story.

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