France to host Palestinian donors conference

18th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - France will hold a special conference of donors for the Palestinians at the end of the year which will be co-hosted by the Mideast Quartet special envoy Tony Blair and Norway, a joint statement said Wednesday.

18 October 2007

PARIS (AFP) - France will hold a special conference of donors for the Palestinians at the end of the year which will be co-hosted by the Mideast Quartet special envoy Tony Blair and Norway, a joint statement said Wednesday.

"France will host a major donors' conference for Palestine at the end of the year at the request of (Palestinian) President (Mahmud) Abbas," the statement said.

"Tony Blair and Norway will co-chair the conference with France," it said, adding: "Tony Blair in his capacity as special representative of the Quartet and Norway as chair of the ad hoc liaison committee (AHLC)."

"This conference will aim to mobilise the donors ... to provide political and financial support to the Palestinian Authority by creating the capacities and the conditions for building a viable Palestinian state."

The US is also due to hold an international peace conference on the Middle East in November at Annapolis, outside Washington.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said: "What happens at Annapolis is clearly the first stage, the creation of a great hope, but after that there will have to be action."

Kouchner added that a meeting has been organised by Blair next week in Jerusalem to give out invitations to the donors' conference.

"A state is not a negotiation about territory, it has also got to be about what that state does, the nature of that state, how it runs its security, its social, educational and health systems, encouragement of the private sector and economic development," Blair told reporters.

"It also means changing what is happening on the ground so that...the prospect of jobs and prosperity, particularly for the Palestinian people, as well as security for the Israeli people can come about."

AFP

Subject: French news

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