On France's proposal for aid to Palestinians
Palestine-Israel-France, Politics, 5/5/2006
France's President Jacques Chirac spoke on Wednesday about the need to create a trust fund directly managed by the World Bank to help the Palastinians due to the aid cut by Europe and the US.
The US and Europe halted aid because the Palestinians elected a Hamas government which refuses to recognize the rights of Israel to exist.
The French president said about his proposal to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan "On 28 April I had a visit from Mr Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. He emphasized to me the imminence of an unprecedented humanitarian, economic and social crisis in the Palestinian Territories, largely due to the fact that, as from two months ago, the Palestinian Authority has been unable to pay the salaries of its civil servants. Action is thus necessary, and even urgent. The international community has a political responsibility which it must not shirk."
Chirac added "Given the risk and the consequences which could ensue, we must establish a mechanism making it possible, while respecting international legality and the principles agreed to by the Quartet, to address the nature and urgency of this looming crisis. The Palestinian President supported the idea of a trust fund directly managed by the World Bank which could pay the salaries of the civil servants on whom depend the living conditions of nearly a third of the Palestinian population. The Bank has the means, agencies and staff required to rapidly set up such a mechanism."
Chirac said "I assured the Palestinian President of France’s support for the implementation of this fund. I am aware of the eminent role the United Nations has played in the management of the Palestinian issue, and the presence and considerable economic and social support provided on the ground by the UN agencies, which are doing a remarkable job, recognized by everyone. So I have no doubt that you will share my analysis, and be sensitive to this completely new situation in the Territories, for which we must live up to our ambitions and our commitment."
Chirac said "The next Quartet meeting, on 9 May, must be the opportunity for taking such a decision, since it will allow us to reaffirm, in the eyes of all, the unity of the international community, its support for the Palestinian population and commitment to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region."
The US Department Of State said yesterday that it may consider the proposal.
PLO welcomes Chirac's aid initiative
French proposal on aid to suffering Palestinians
Abbas in France today
Straw acknowledges reality of Hamas position not to recognize Israel
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