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US Envoy Urges Donors to Fund Palestinian State Institutions


The U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace is urging international donors to help the Palestinian Authority pay for new institutions for a future state.

George Mitchell discussed Palestinian financial aid in Brussels Tuesday with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Jonas Gahr Store, and the European Union's foreign policy representative, Catherine Ashton.

After the meeting, Mitchell reaffirmed Washington's stance that Israeli-Palestinian peace will not be achieved unless both sides have their own state.

Washington is trying to revive the stalled peace talks, but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that he will not resume the process until Israel freezes its settlement construction.




Mr. Abbas told reporters in Ramallah that Israel must completely halt settlement activity, especially in Jerusalem, in his words, "for a certain period." He did not give a specific timetable.

The comments come just days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to resume without preconditions.

Following U.S. pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a 10-month moratorium on new settlement construction in the occupied West Bank last November. The temporary freeze does not apply to East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as a capital of a future state.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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