PA: No political concessions for economic benefit

Economic adviser says economy "part of political framework."

May 27, 2013 17:44
1 minute read.
Palestinians stage economic protest in Hebron

Palestinians protest 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)

Following the unveiling of US Secretary of State John Kerry's $4 billion economic plan to revitalize the Palestinian economy, the Palestinian Authority responded on Monday to say it would not make "political concessions in exchange for economic benefits," AFP reported.

In a statement from the Palestine Investment Fund and Economic Adviser Mohammad Mustafa, it was stated the PA will "not accept that the economy is the primary and sole component."

"We wish it [the economy] to be part of a political framework that will ensure the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem it's capital and the rights of refugees and a reference to a political solution - these are the priorities," AFP quoted the statement as reading.

"President Mahmoud Abbas calls on investors to come to Palestine, especially taking into account the fact that Palestine is a positive investment experience in many different areas," Mustafa was quoted as saying.

At the closing session of the World Economic Forum by the Dead Sea in Jordan, Kerry unveiled a $4 billion economic plan to revitalize the Palestinian economy.

“The plan for the Palestinian economy is bigger and bolder and more ambitious than anything proposed since Oslo more than 20 years ago,” said Kerry.

This economic plan is achievable and has the support of Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Kerry said.

Quartet special envoy Tony Blair will head the initiative, with the help of the international business community.

According to Kerry, it will focus on developing the Palestinian private economy, a key ingredient for economic independence.

If actualized, he said, it could increase the Palestinian GDP by 50 percent over three years and cut unemployment by two-thirds, to 8% down from 21%. It would also benefit the economies of Israel and Jordan, Kerry said.

The effects could echo throughout the region and could be used as an international model for applying investment to make change, he said.

Investment in business, as well as in peace, could totally change life on the ground for this area, Kerry said.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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