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AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Qatar informed the White House it will attend the conference in Bahrain on June 25 that will launch the economic part of the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, according to U.S. officials.

Why it matters: For the last 2 years Qatar has been under a blockade by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The fact that the Qataris will attend the conference shows the U.S. managed to get a green light from the Saudis. This is a major achievement for the White House peace team led by Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is trying to get as many Arab countries to attend the conference, regardless of the Palestinians' decision to boycott.

Driving the news: Last night the Qatari foreign ministry issued a statement regarding the Bahrain conference stressing that...

"Qatar will spare no effort to contribute to addressing all the challenges facing the Arab region as a whole, while maintaining its firmed principled positions and the highest interests of the Arab peoples, including the brotherly Palestinian people."

The statement didn't mention the Qatari attendance in the conference, but according to U.S. officials, the Qataris told the White House they plan to show up.

  • The Qatari statement also stressed that economic prosperity will not be achieved without fair political solutions to the Palestinian issue "based on ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a fully sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital".
  • The statement comes after Saudi Arabia and the UAE have already announced they will attend the conference. Palestinians have been lobbying many Arab and Western countries in the last several days stressing their objections to the Bahrain conference.

Qatari attendance is important because Qatar is the main donor of aid to the Palestinians in the Arab world. Just 2 weeks ago, the Qataris announced they will give the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank $300 million in addition to $180 million for humanitarian aid in Gaza.

Go deeper: Saudi Arabia and UAE to attend Trump's "economic workshop"

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 8 wounded

Police cars restrict access to Oxford High School following the shooting in Oxford, Michigan, on Tuesday. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

A 15-year-old sophomore was arrested after a shooting at a Michigan high school that left three people dead and eight others wounded Wednesday, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

The latest: Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a briefing Tuesday night that the suspect's father had on Friday bought the 9mm Sig Sauer pistol investigators believe was used in the shooting at Oxford High School. Authorities released the names of the victims late Tuesday.

City Council member Andre Dickens wins Atlanta mayoral race

Atlanta Mayor-elect Andre Dickens in Atlanta, Georgia, late Tuesday. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

City Council member Andre Dickens won a runoff election Tuesday to become Atlanta's next mayor, soundly beating the council's president Felicia Moore.

The big picture: Dickens was just a few months ago considered to have an outside chance of replacing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who announced in May that she wouldn't seek a second term.

UN report: Pandemic set to cost global tourism $2 trillion in 2021

A tourist in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Nov. 25. Photo:Chesnot/Getty Images

A new United Nations report warns that global tourism will see only modest revenue gains in 2021 after last year's historic losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: Tourism revenues in 2020 fell by more than half from the previous year — a significant blow to the global economy, according to analysis by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).