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June 20, 2019 11:31 am

Bahrain to Allow Israeli Journalists to Cover US-Led Economic Summit

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

Manama, Bahrain. Photo: Wadiia via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Bahrain will allow journalists from six different Israeli media outlets to enter the country next week to cover the US-sponsored economic workshop in Manama, Channel 13 News reported on Wednesday.

Bahrain reportedly approved the entry of the Israelis at the request of US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

It was an unprecedented move by Bahrain, a country that does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, which for the first time will allow Israeli journalists to report from its soil.

US special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt confirmed the report and tweeted: “There are those working to improve the lives of Israelis, Palestinians & others in the region, and to see if peace can be achieved. Bahrain is one such country. The USA very much appreciates Bahrain’s efforts.”

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As previously reported, neither Israeli nor Palestinian political leaders will be attending the June 25-26 event.

Greenblatt this week emphasized the apolitical nature of the “workshop,” saying that since the Palestinian Authority had chosen to boycott event, Israeli government officials would not be invited either, nor would other world leaders or foreign ministers.

In addition to Israel and the Palestinians, Russia and China will also not be attending. The European Union will only send a “technical level official” to Bahrain, said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, who met with Kushner last week in advance of the conference.

Nevertheless, several Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, have said that they will attend.

The two-day workshop will include keynote speeches, while delegations will hear plans to improve the economic situation and quality of life for Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and Gaza.

Additionally, work teams will sit down together for discussions, including the Israeli team with its Arab counterparts.

The Israeli delegation will include Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yoav Mordechai, who has developed influential ties in the Arab world over the years. Mordechai, who is fluent in Arabic, stepped down last year as head of Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit and now heads Novard, an international consultancy firm.

Israel Radio said a hospital director and several social activists were also expected to participate.

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