WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday urged Arab countries to offer greater financial support to the Palestinian Authority.
“It takes more than plans and commitments to support making the state of Palestine a reality,” Clinton told the annual dinner of the American Task Force on Palestine, a pro-Palestinian group which calls for a Palestinian state.
The chief US diplomat paid tribute to the Palestinian Authority’s efforts, saying it needs a “larger, steadier, and more predictable source” of financial support.
The United States and the European Union are the authority’s main donors.
“But the broader international community, including many Arab states, can and should provide more financial support,” Clinton said.
The secretary also urged Arab countries to consider how to “begin implementing the Arab peace initiative in concrete terms.”
The 2002 Saudi-inspired initiative calls for Arab states to normalize ties with Israel in return for Israel’s withdrawal from Arab territories occupied in the 1967 war, the creation of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and a fair settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue.
Clinton also promised that, whatever the difficulties, the Obama administration will not give up seeking a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
The peace negotiations that were relaunched in Washington on September 2 following a 20-month hiatus are threatened by Israel’s refusal to renew a 10-month moratorium on Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
On October 9, the Arab League gave the United States an additional month to try to save the peace talks.