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  • 西哈努克城皇家利华Kushner says agreed economic pathway "precondition" for resolving Palestinian issue

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    The U.S. government under Trump has halted all funding for the UN relief agency, plunging it into a widening budget gap.

    Backed by the UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, the Palestinians seek to establish an independent, fully sovereign state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    "Agreeing on the economic pathway forward is the necessary precondition to resolving what is previously unsolvable political situation," Kushner said in his opening speech at the workshop broadcast live on Youtube, an American video-sharing website.

    More than half of the 80 billion dollars will go to the West Bank and Gaza Strip while the rest will be split between Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, noted Kushner, also Trump's son-in-law.

    He also underlined Washington's 80-billion-U.S.-dollar economic vision for the Palestinians, saying the 10-year vision aims to more than double the GDP of the Palestinians, create over 1 million jobs for them, reduce their unemployment rate to nearly single digits and cut their poverty rate by half.

    A 140-page pamphlet on the U.S. ambitious vision, which was released by the White House on June 22 as the economic part of the U.S. Middle East peace plan known as the "Deal of the Century," was distributed among those attending the workshop, according to Kushner.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner gives a speech at the opening of the "Peace to Prosperity" conference in Manama, Bahrain, June 25, 2019 in this still image taken from a video. (Reuters photo)

    It is worth noting that the Bahraini economic workshop comes on the same day that the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is holding a pledging conference in New York.

    In his interview with Qatari network Al Jazeera just ahead of the workshop, Kushner said the U.S. Middle East peace plan would not follow the Arab Peace Initiative, a proposal for ending the Arab-Israeli conflict endorsed by the Arab League in 802, but lie "somewhere between the Arab peace initiative and the Israeli position."

    The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly called for the boycott of both the economic workshop and the U.S.-proposed "Deal of the Century," insisting that the political solution comes first, while Israel only sent a small business delegation to the Bahrain workshop.

    MANAMA, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Jared Kushner, senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, highlighted on Tuesday an agreed economic pathway as the "necessary precondition" for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during a U.S.-led workshop held in the Bahraini capital of Manama.

    Touting the "Deal of the Century" as the "Opportunity of the Century," Kushner did not touch upon any political aspirations of the Palestinians for statehood in his speech, but said "economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict."