- Title: WEST BANK: Japan resumes aid to Palestinian Authority
- Date: 15th August 2007
- Summary: (W3) RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (AUGUST 15, 2007) (REUTERS) WIDE OF MUQATA, PRESIDENTIAL HEADQUARTERS IN RAMALLAH WITH CONVOY OF JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER TARO ASO ARRIVING ASO STEPS OUT OF CAR AND MEETS PALESTINIAN CHIEF NEGOTIATOR SAEB EREKAT IN FRONT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL HEADQUARTERS VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT, MAHMOUD ABBAS AND JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER, TARO ASO MEETING PHOTOGRAPHERS ASO AND ABBAS TAKE PODIUM WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER TARO ASO SAYING: "In order to support President Abbas in a visible way, Japan has decided to resume direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority in the amount of 11 million dollars, in addition to 9 million dollars in humanitarian aid including to Gaza." TRANSLATOR SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER, TARO ASO, SAYING: "We expect that experienced and veteran politicians such as President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad will, through various negotiations and discussions with Gaza, ensure that it will not be split or cut off, but rather be reconstructed in a proper manner. President Abbas himself has also strongly expressed this intention, and we welcome this very much." MAN LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT, MAHMOUD ABBAS, SAYING: "Today the minister, and we thank him for it, will give his blessing to the Peace Corridor project, which is the route to prosperity in the Jericho area. This project is being sponsored by Japan and Jordan, Israel and Palestine take part in it." WIDE OR THE NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS SAYING: "I agree with what the minister said regarding the unity of the Palestinian land and I assure you that the split is temporary and it must be resolved." ABBAS AND ASO STEPPING AWAY FROM PODIUM
- Embargoed: 30th August 2007 13:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA2VJ1M3VY1I0JM6EJS7STKO4YY
- Story Text: Japan's foreign minister announces Tokyo's resumption of direct aid to the Palestinian Authority and discusses a Japanese-backed plan to boost Israeli-Palestinian economic cooperation.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday (August 15) pledged 11 million U.S. dollars in direct financial aid to the Palestinian government formed by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.
"In order to support President Abbas in a visible way, Japan has decided to resume direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority in the amount of 11 million dollars, in addition to 9 million dollars in humanitarian aid including to Gaza," Aso told a news conference with Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Aso said he believed Abbas and his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, and other "experienced politicians" would find a way to bring about a reconciliation with Hamas, which has take control of Gaza.
The Western-backed government of Abbas seeks peace with the Israelis, but it has been in conflict with Islamic militant group Hamas. Hamas, branded as a terrorist organization by the United States, has refused to recognize Israel's right to exist.
Aso later took part in a ministerial meeting in the West Bank city of Jericho with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdelelah al-Khatib and several senior Palestinian officials.
The meeting was to focus on an initiative to build a joint agro-industrial park in the Jordan Valley, likely to be part-funded by Japan.
Japan hopes the initiative, named the Concept for Creating the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity, will serve as a pilot project to boost the battered economy in the Palestinian territories that will then create an atmosphere conducive to advancing the Middle East peace process.
Abbas thanked Aso for the initiative which he described as "the route of prosperity in the Jericho area". He said the project was being sponsored by Japan and that Jordan, Israel and Palestine were participating in it.
Japan joined an international aid embargo on the Palestinian Authority after Hamas Islamists won parliamentary elections in 2006.
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