News / Middle East

Kerry Hopeful on Palestinian Economic Plan

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) is joined by Israeli President Shimon Peres (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, May 26, 2013.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) is joined by Israeli President Shimon Peres (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, May 26, 2013.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) is joined by Israeli President Shimon Peres (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, May 26, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) is joined by Israeli President Shimon Peres (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, May 26, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says global business leaders are moving to invest as much as $4 billion in the Palestinian economy, to support efforts to find a comprehensive peace plan with Israel.

Secretary Kerry says the initiative for private sector investments in tourism, construction, light manufacturing, energy, agriculture, and information and communications technology already is producing "stunning" results.

He told a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Jordan that the investments could increase the Palestinian gross domestic product by 50 percent in the next three years, cutting unemployment from 21 percent to as low as 8 percent, with big gains in agriculture and home construction.

Kerry said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas both support the plan because Palestinians will become more self-sufficient as the investment climate improves. "Just as people find the dignity in a good job, a nation finds pride by functioning and growing an economy that can stand on its own two feet. This will help build the future," he said.

At the economic forum on the Dead Sea, Israeli President Shimon Peres said the investment plan complements U.S. efforts to jumpstart talks toward a two-state solution.

"Secretary Kerry brings with him an impressive momentum and desire to contribute to the completion of the peace process. It will be matched with an imaginative economic plan, not instead of the political plan, but as I understand it, in addition to it," he said.

President Abbas said it comes at a critical moment for Palestinians. "The new generation is starting to lose their confidence in the two-state solution because what they see on the ground makes them truly have no hope in the future," he said.

Kerry spent much of the past week in the Middle East meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials. He says it is time for some tough decisions on both sides. "If we don't eagerly grab this moment, we will condemn ourselves to future conflict. We are staring down a dangerous path filled with potential violence with a capacity to harden divisions, increase instability," he said.

Kerry says that path would be haunted by violent extremists rushing to fill the vacuum of failed leadership. "If we make the wrong choices or no choices at all, dangerous people will come to possess more of the world's most dangerous weapons," he said.

The investment plan is in conjunction with the so-called Middle East Quartet of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia which is currently led by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Following the Dead Sea forum, Kerry and Blair had a working dinner with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and U.S. investor Tim Collins, who is a personal friend of Kerry.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kafantaris from: USA
May 26, 2013 11:42 PM
Kerry has it right. The 4 billion investment plan is just what is needed for Palestine.
Economic determinism is still a reliable yardstick to sort out history.
Though we do not live by bread alone, we cannot live without bread.
Economic forces do shape our lives and the lives of our communities -- far more than politics or prevailing beliefs.

by: musawi melake
May 26, 2013 3:21 PM
Certainly, there'll be a time when peace is inevitable when the neighbouring regimes are toppled and a people friendly states are established to serve the people of their respective countries than the corrupt leaders and thereby the enemies of the Arabs, like the case in 1948, when the Jordanians colluded with the Jews to stay away from engagement in return for the West-Bank, which was later captured by the untrustworthy Jews were far numerous compared to entire Arab army. And they had to go in for a pact with the Jordanians as the latter were the only force that could negate whatever Jews gained. So, peace as Mr. Peres put it, is only possible when the monarchies and other dynasties are replaced with actors stand up to Western exploits
In Response

by: Samy
May 27, 2013 1:33 AM
You are right Mr. Musawi. Palestinian leadership cannot be trusted to the full extent of the law. Mr. Arafat has pocketed his hungry constituents funds that could have made them prosperous. Sorry for spelling, primitave device made in Israel but I rely on it everyday. Not one. Busline did Mr. Arafat make. Why invest all these bilions into the same plundering hands??

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs