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Palestinian Officials Reject US Demand to Repudiate Terror - 2004-01-12


Palestinian officials and non-government organizations have rejected a U.S. demand that they repudiate terrorism in order to receive financial aid.

Palestinians are refusing to sign the U.S. Agency for International Development's "certification regarding terrorist financing."

The requirement, first introduced last year, is aimed at preventing U.S. funds from being transferred to entities engaged in terrorist acts. Several Palestinian groups are on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

The Palestinian finance minister, Salam Fayyad, says that the Palestinian Authority opposes all forms of terrorism.

But, he says, the Palestinian Authority objects to the USAID's new terms as a pre-condition for receiving aid. Palestinian non-government organizations have adopted the same stand.

Palestinian officials say that USAID donated about $30 million to Palestinian NGOs last year to promote democracy and for welfare services.

The Palestinian officials say they intend to raise the issue again with U.S. officials at a meeting scheduled later this week in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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