Russia Calls U.S. Economic Plan for Mideast 'Counterproductive'

The economic plan calls for the creation of a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab state economies

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks at the 'Peace to Prosperity' conference in Manama, Bahrain, June 25, 2019.
\ HANDOUT/ REUTERS

Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that a $50 billion U.S. economic plan for the Middle East was "counterproductive", the Interfax news agency reported.

The economic plan calls for the creation of a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab state economies, and the construction of a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration’s Peace to Prosperity economic conference came to an end. The summit looked to raise $50 billion in contributions for the Palestinians – if the peace plan, which the Americans plan on presenting to the parties after the election in Israel in September, makes progress.

Palestinians boycotted the conference and protested the fact that it was taking place without a diplomatic solution in tow. 

"If the U.S. is so concerned about Palestinian well-being, then why did they carry out these punitive measures against us?," senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Hanan Ashrawi said Wednesday in Ramallah.

"Why did they target Palestinian infrastructure? Why did they stop scholarships to Palestinian students?" she asked, referring to Trump administration's slashing of over half a billion dollars in aid to Palestinians through UNRWA and USAID.