Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa
Khalid bin Ahmed Al KhalifaReuters

After being criticized over interviews he gave to the Israeli media during the Bahrain economic workshop this week, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa on Friday stressed in an interview with Al Arabiya that the Manama workshop was not a step toward normalizing relations with Israel.

The Foreign Minister affirmed Manama’s support for the Palestinian people’s right to an independent Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

“We have not yet heard of any political plan for peace,” he said, explaining that “the Palestinian Authority has a view that we respect and it respects our position.”

“The [peace[ deal will be between two parties and we do not know anything about the so-called Deal of the Century,” said Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed.

“I spoke to the Israeli media to convey our position directly to its people,” he explained.

In one of the interviews he gave to Israeli media, the Bahraini Minister told Channel 13 News that “the Jewish people have a place amongst us.”

“You do have a peace agreement with Egypt, you do have a peace agreement with Jordan, you did have some kind of understandings with the Palestinians through their Authority in the last period,” he added.

“But this is not the limit of the scope of where you belong. Israel is a country in the Middle East. Israel is historically part of the heritage of this whole region. So the Jewish people have a place amongst us,” said Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed.

During the Bahrain conference this week, the US administration unveiled the economic portion of its peace plan, which aims to raise more than $50 billion for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and create one million jobs for its residents within a decade.

The PA boycotted the economic conference in Bahrain, calling it a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.

The PA, in fact, has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017 and his relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)