Egypt and Jordan's participation is considered especially important since they have historically been key players in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. However, Palestinian leaders have vowed to boycott the June 25-26 conference and lashed out at members of the international community who have agreed to attend the conference.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have publicly declared that they will attend, along with the Bahraini hosts. The U.S. has also sent invitations to finance ministers from other Arab and non-Arab countries. The so-called workshop is scheduled to be held in the city of Manama.
Global financial bodies including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank also plan to be present.
U.S. officials have been vague about the timing for the second phase of their initiative, which would be the release of proposals for resolving the thorny political issues at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
With Israel heading for new elections in September after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to meet a deadline to form a government, uncertainty is expected to further delay the full release of the plan.
Most experts are skeptical the Trump administration can succeed where decades of U.S.-backed efforts have failed.
Saeb Erekat, executive secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization, told a number of Arab news outlets he expected the summit to fail.
In an interview with Almayadeen, a Lebanese news channel, Erekat said: “If I’m not going, do you know what’s best for me better than I do?” He called on all Arab and non-Arab countries that intend to participate to “reconsider” their decision.
Political analyst Ziad Abu Zayyad said the “PA is on its own,” adding: “These countries have their own interests to worry about with the United States, and they revolve in the U.S. orbit, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that these countries have agreed to attend and host the conference.”
Abu Zayyad said that other geopolitical issues in the region played a major role in how Arab governments, particularly the Gulf states, viewed the Palestinian cause these days.
“America and Israel succeeded in convincing these countries that the danger to them is coming from Iran, and because of that they will do anything they are asked by the U.S. and Israel,” he said.
The Palestinian Authority did not have the means to pressure the Arab states, he added.
Article contributed to by Mohammad Al-Kassim. Reprinted with permission from The Media Line