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 Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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