Palestinian leader Abbas to talk with Kerry in Paris

Mahmoud Abbas will meet with Kerry to discuss ongoing peace talks with Israel.

Palestinian leader Abbas to talk with Kerry in Paris

World Bulletin / News Desk

Palestinian Authority's (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will pay a visit to Paris on Wednesday to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry, who is currently in the Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), requested the talks with Abbas, according to Palestinian sources.

Washington-sponsored peace talks between Israel and Palestinians resumed last July after a three-year hiatus.

Through his shuttle diplomacy, US foreign policy chief John Kerry has long been striving to revive the Middle-East peace talks by gathering Palestinian and Israeli officials.

The results of the talks – which are reportedly focused on final-settlement issues such as borders, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees – have yet to be announced.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat asserted on February 10 that Palestine would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state – only hours after Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni hinted that the Palestinians might accept the longstanding Israeli demand in order to secure a peace deal.

Erekat also said there is no intention on the Palestinian side to extend the April 29 deadline for wrapping up the negotiations.

He added, however, that direct talks – which are being brokered by Kerry – had ground to a halt.

Economic plan aims to create jobs for Palestinian youth

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Monday said that an economic blueprint drawn up by US Secretary of State John Kerry would stimulate the Palestinian economy and create job opportunities for Palestinian youth.

Kerry unveiled his economic stimulus plan for the Palestinian territories at the World Economic Forum in Jordanian capital Amman in mid-2013, saying the plan would be key to achieving lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

The plan includes $4 billion worth of investments in the occupied West Bank over the next three years.

The scheme seeks to raise the GDP of the Palestinian territories by 50 percent; reduce unemployment to 8 percent from a current 23 percent; and raise personal incomes by 40 percent.

Meeting in Ramallah with US senators Tim Kaine, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and Central and South Asian Affairs, and Angus King, member of the US Senate Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, Hamdallah briefed the pair on recent developments pertaining to inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

Hamdallah said that fresh investment projects in Area C of the West Bank would help reduce the Palestinian budget deficit, boost tourism, and create new opportunities for Palestinian youth, the prime minister's office said in a statement.

The Palestinian premier went on to call for lifting Israel's seven-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip, according to the statement.

The Oslo II Accord, signed by the Palestinians and Israelis in 1995, divided the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C.

Last Mod: 18 Şubat 2014, 10:13
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