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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More