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WASHINGTON — After more than two years of study and deliberation, President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have decided to take a businessman’s approach to Middle East peace: They will try to buy their way to a deal.
On Sunday, Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner finally opened their long-awaited drive for what the president has called “the deal of the century” by announcing that the United States would hold an “economic workshop” in Bahrain next month to produce strategies to invest in the Palestinians and other Arabs.
The idea is to secure financial commitments from wealthy Persian Gulf states as well as donors in Europe and Asia to induce the Palestinians and their allies to make political concessions to resolve the decades-old conflict with Israel. The White House has indicated that it is seeking tens of billions of dollars but would not identify a precise figure; diplomats and lawmakers have been told the goal is about $68 billion for the Palestinians, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
“This workshop is a pivotal opportunity to convene government, civil society and business leaders to share ideas, discuss strategies and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement,” the White House said in a statement.
But the international community has held economic conferences to benefit the Palestinians before without leading to peace, and veterans of past negotiations have expressed deep skepticism that Mr. Trump’s effort will gain traction where previous efforts failed.
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