Egypt Says It Will Participate In Trump’s Peace Workshop


Egypt’s government said Saturday that it will take part in the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in Bahrain, where the White House will reveal the economic portion of its plan for Mideast peace.

The state-run news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez as saying Saturday that the Egyptian delegation will be led by a deputy finance minister.

Hafez said Egypt aims at “watching and evaluating” ideas that will be presented at the workshop Tuesday and Wednesday. He said Egypt supports the two-state political solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state and Israel withdrawing to the borders of June 4, 1967.

Neither Israelis nor Palestinians will be attending the conference.

Palestinian leaders accuse the U.S. of bias favoring Israel and have rejected the Trump administration’s peace plan out of hand. They have urged Arab countries to boycott the workshop.

An Egyptian diplomatic official said the government made its final decision on attending the gathering around three weeks ago after intensive communications between the Trump administration and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. He said a couple of Egyptian businessmen who have ties with Israel would attend the workshop “as individuals.” The official insisted on not being quoted by name because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Earlier this month, a U.S. official said that Egypt, Jordan and Morocco had confirmed their attendance at the workshop. The White House at the time hailed the countries’ attendance as “welcome news,” calling it a sign “that our workshop is gathering momentum as we had anticipated.”

Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries that have peace agreements with Israel. Their attendance is seen as a victory for the U.S., which faces tough resistance to its proposed solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their leaders often voice support for a two-state solution to the conflict, which remains the only internationally accepted option but appears to be at odds with the little that has been revealed about Trump’s “Deal of the Century.”