Ma'an News Agency
December 16, 2009 - 1:00am

The French government will deliver 200 million Euros for the support and development of Palestinian infrastructure over three years, officials announced Wednesday.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign affairs Riyad Al-Maliki and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner signed three agreements for the funds in the French minister’s office in Paris shortly before the announcement.

Additionally, two further agreements were signed whereby diplomatic and political cooperation between France and the Palestinian Authority would be fostered, as well as an offer of 1.5 million Euros to support the PA treasury.

The French aid will back Ramallah-based Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan to lay the institutional foundations of a Palestinian state in the next two years.

During a news conference, Kouchner stressed that despite the failures following the Annapolis conference, a return to peace talks under appropriate circumstances is imperative.

Kouchner praised Fayyad's plan, termed the Program of the 13th Government, adding that the establishment of a viable Palestinian state is a goal shared by the French government, despite recent bumps in Franco-Palestinian political relations.

Last week a top PA official, At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim, leveled a rare public criticism of France for allegedly watering down the language of an EU foreign ministers statement on the peace process.

Concerning stalled negotiations, Kouchner said “The recent situation is regrettable but not totally frustrating."

Al-Maliki, for his part, said relations between France and the Palestinians were, and spoke of the necessity of continued cooperation between the two countries.

He added that the support France has offered the PA confirmed the country’s commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017