Kerry Makes Palestinian Economic Growth a Part of Peace Talks


On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry voiced plans to stimulate Palestinian economic growth in order to create a better environment for renewed peace talks.

“Economic growth will help us be able to provide a climate, if you will, an atmosphere, within which people have greater confidence about moving forward,” Kerry said in Israel before leaving for a summit of G8 foreign ministers in London. He told reporters that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are on board to “promote economic development” and “move very rapidly towards increased business expansion and private sector investment in the West Bank.”

The stalled peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian parties are an issue that Kerry views as a priority for U.S. foreign policy, stressing that economic growth is not to replace a diplomatic effort but to facilitate Israeli-Palestinian talks. Kerry announced a list of corporations that are interested in participating and said that he has discussed with Netanyahu “the specific steps that we could take to break through red tape, to help expedite the goal of economic growth on the West Bank.

“I let him know that I have already been in touch with our partners in the United States,” Kerry said. “All of these efforts will be put into this initiative to try to make a significant dent with respect to employment and economic security of the West Bank.”

-Shannon Keith

Source: The Hill
Photo: The Guardian


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