Know More About Palestine

Friday Feb. 4, 2011 9:12 AM (EST+7)
Palestinian fund conference set for June

Read more: Palestinian Authority, France, donor countries, fundraising, international aid

PARIS, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Donor countries will hold a meeting in Paris in June on further funds for the Palestinian Authority (PA) after a first aid push of the kind in 2007, according to a statement issued after talks in the French capital on Thursday.

The statement was released after talks involving Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton and also in the name of another Mideast peacebroker Gary Grappo.

At the request of the PA, a new international donors' conference for the Palestinian State will be held in Paris in June 2011, said the statement.

The conference will address the PA's strategic development plan and will also have a strong political dimension.

Fayyad, who also met French President Nicolas Sarkozy, embarked on a two-year plan in 2009 to construct the complete institutional framework of a Palestinian state by mid-2011.

A first such international aid conference in 2007 pledged $7.7 billion to help the Palestinian budget and projects or for humanitarian aid in return Palestinian efforts to modernise institutions and ensure greater transparency.

Last September, Washington relaunched direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, only to see them grind to a halt three weeks later when Israel's partial freeze on building in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank expired.

France's Sarkozy has sought in recent months to spearhead a European peace effort.

The statement published after the talks in Paris appeared to confirm that a follow-up donor meeting to the one held in 2007, until now more an offer than a certainty, would indeed happen, and it also called on Israel to play a constructive role in peacemaking.

It said the statement's signatories were calling on Israel to take more ambitious and structural measures to continue to ease access and movement in line with a 2005 accord.

Such further steps are needed to release the full potential of the policies led by the Palestinian Authority and the financial support provided by the international community, it said.

Measures need to be taken immediately to improve the movement of persons and goods, regarding the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, it said.

To meet the needs of the people of Gaza, full and effective implementation of the measures announced by Israel to alleviate the blockade on Gaza is indispensable. (Reporting by Brian Love; Editing by Jon Hemming)







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