Minister: PA places great value on Kerry's economic plan
Published Saturday 21/12/2013 (updated) 22/12/2013 11:22
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority places great value on US Secretary of State John Kerry's economic initiative in Palestine, which will help the economy thrive in 2014, an official said.
Minister of Economy Jawad al-Naji told Ma'an that his ministry seriously counts on Kerry's initiative to upgrade and activate the Palestinian economy. Once the initiative is implemented and investments start to flow, a "positive situation" will provide an effective remedy to unemployment and poverty in Palestine.
The Kerry initiative, if successfully implemented, will provide thousands of work opportunities to Palestinian citizens, al-Naji said, adding that it will also allow the Palestinian people to access natural resources in Area C of the West Bank.
The Ministry of Economy has already started consultations in order to prepare three-year economic plans and programs to be implemented 2014-2016, added al-Naji. The plans are not expected to achieve sustainable development as long as the Israeli occupation continues, but will help revive Palestinian economy and help Palestinian citizens who face challenges, he said.
The minister's remarks echo those of Palestinian economic analyst Nasr Abd al-Karim.
"The deep economic crisis in Palestine can never be solved fundamentally as long as we live under occupation," Abd al-Karim told Ma'an.
The crisis, he added, is political in the first place and was deepened as a result of economic mismanagement by consecutive Palestinian governments. An economic plan can never be implemented as long as there is no sustainable political process, he said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an initiative to allocate $4 billion to revive the Palestinian economy about a month ago.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.