WASHINGTON - The White House has invited private sector business leaders from multiple countries and industries to attend the upcoming economic conference in Bahrain later this month. Some of the business leaders expected to attend the conference are close confidants of U.S. President Donald Trump, including major donors to his presidential campaign, a report published Thursday on CNBC says.
The Bahrain economic conference, which will focus on investments in the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and Gaza, is slated to take place on June 25. So far, three Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - have announced they will participate. The Palestinian Authority is boycotting the conference, as part of its general policy of not engaging with the Trump administration.
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Officials from Israel, Europe and other Arab countries have also been invited to the conference. Shortly after the conference was first announced in May, several Palestinian business leaders from the private sector declared publicly that they received invitations from the U.S. government to attend the event and turned them down.
On Thursday, administration officials confirmed to Haaretz that invitations had also been sent to business leaders from multiple countries, including the United States, Israel and other countries in the region. The White House is still working on the final list of attendees, which will be released within the next weeks.
One U.S. official explained that “the list of attendees and speakers represent experts from across many fields. These individuals are creative thinkers and bright minds that will help lead conversations around the investment, infrastructure development and capacity building needed to support sustainable Palestinian economic growth."
Among those who have been invited to the conference, according to CNBC, includes billionaire Tom Barrack, a personal friend of Trump and major donor to his presidential campaign. The report also mentioned Dina Powell, a former White House foreign policy expert, who is currently a senior official at Goldman Sachs and billionaire Steve Schwarzman, the CEO of a private equity firm and another major Trump donor.