UN to stay away from Bahrain Middle East conference

UN to stay away from Bahrain Middle East conference
2 min read
A UN spokesman has said that the UN's Middle East coordinator has not been invited to an upcoming conference on the economic aspects of a US Middle East peace plan.
The UN will not be participating in the upcoming Bahrain conference [Photothek]

The United Nations will not be taking part in a conference in Bahrain to present the economic aspects of a US peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, a spokesman said on Thursday.

"At this stage, I'm not aware that we will have anyone present," said UN spokesman Farhan Haq when asked about UN attendance at the conference.

The spokesman initially said that the UN's Middle East coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, had been invited to the June 25-26 conference in Manama, but would not be attending.

He later corrected his statement to say that Mladenov had not been invited. 

President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has been drafting the long-awaited peace plan that has already been rejected by the Palestinians, who expect the proposals to heavily favour Israel.

The plan is aimed at providing economic opportunities for the Palestinians, but Kushner has hinted that it will not endorse international calls for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Several UN resolutions have enshrined the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the path to a peace settlement.

The Palestinian Authority has already said it will boycott the Bahrain conference after it cut ties with the US administration over Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

UN diplomats say they expect the Kushner plan to fail, but it remains unclear what other course of action could be taken to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace.