EXCLUSIVE-Trump's "economy first" approach to Mideast peace built on big-money projects

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 22, 2019 - Duration: 04:46s

EXCLUSIVE-Trump's "economy first" approach to Mideast peace built on big-money projects

Reuters White House correspondent Steve Holland interviews senior adviser Jared Kushner about the June 25-26 gathering in the Gulf kingdom that has been billed as an economic overture to its long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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EXCLUSIVE-Trump's "economy first" approach to Mideast peace built on big-money projects

The Trump administration's $50 billion Middle East economic plan calls for creation of a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies, and construction of a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza, according to U.S. officials and documents reviewed by Reuters.

The "economy first" approach toward reviving the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process could be a hard sell to a largely skeptical region.

The plan, set to be presented by President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, at an international conference in Bahrain next week, includes 179 infrastructure and business projects, according to the documents.

More than half of the $50 billion would be spent in the economically troubled Palestinian territories over 10 years while the rest would be split between Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

Some of the projects would be in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, where investments could benefit Palestinians living in adjacent Gaza, a crowded and impoverished coastal enclave

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