Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
April 28, 2008 - 12:00am

Washington DC, April 29 – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today convened a meeting of American private sector business leaders and leaders of the US-Palestinian Public-Private Partnership initiative to explore opportunities for investment in Palestine in the run-up to the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem on May 21-23, 2008. Partnership chair Walter Isaacson and co-chairs Jean Case and ATFP President Ziad J. Asali attended the meeting at the State Department along with Secretary Rice and other senior government officials.

Also participating were senior figures in the American private sector business community including Paul Otellini, President and CEO of the Intel Corporation, Deborah Marriott Harrison, Senior Vice President of Marriott international, Tom Mattia, Senior Vice President of the Coca-Cola Company, Jesse Clayton of Ergon Capital, Ian Davis, Vice President of Occidental Petroleum Corp., George Salem, Strategic Adviser, DLA Piper US LLP and co-chair of the Bethlehem Conference , Carleton S. Fiorina, CEO, Carly Fiorina Enterprises, and Yadin Kaufman, Director General, Veritas, among others.

At the meeting, Secretary Rice provided an overview of current relations between Israel and the Palestinians following the Washington visit last week of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and highlighted “the strategic importance of increasing US private sector investment in the West Bank.” The State Department said that the key objectives of the meeting were to “gain support from the private sector representatives for investment in the quick-impact job creation projects being developed by the Partnership” and to promote the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem. The Conference will be aimed at improving the economic and social living standards in Palestine through increased investment in the Palestinian economy.

ATFP President and Partnership co-chair Ziad J. Asali said, “the presence at this meeting today and the interest shown in investing in Palestine by these senior business leaders of our country is an extremely encouraging development. Palestine is open for business, and that message is being welcomed by the American private sector community. I am gratified that Secretary Rice has taken the initiative in highlighting the strategic importance of American private investment in the Palestinian economy to our nation’s national interests. However, it is impossible to overstate the importance of movement on the political track towards the establishment of a Palestinian state.”


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