Cairo - The UAE on Tuesday said it welcomed a June 25-26 ‘Peace to Prosperity’ economic workshop hosted in Bahrain in cooperation with the United States. UAE and Saudi Arabia also said they will participate in the conference aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, part of US President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Israel-Palestinian peace plan.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that the workshop “aims to lift the Palestinian people out of misery and to enable them for a stable and prosperous future”, WAM said. “The UAE reiterates its support for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the statement added. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the future capital of any Palestinian state. The Israeli regime calls occupied Jerusalem its indivisable capital.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments. The plan is likely to call for billions of dollars in financial backing for the Palestinians, mostly from Gulf states, according to people informed about the discussions.

Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies it would not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands which include Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, a right of return for refugees displaced by the Arab-Israeli wars, and a freeze on Israeli colonies in lands claimed by the Palestinians.

The conference has been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders who want their political demands to be addressed in any solution to the decades-old conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Palestinian National Authority has boycotted US peace efforts since late 2017 when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem and recognised the city as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The US initiative follows a recent upsurge in cross-border fighting between Gaza militants and Israel.