Kerry's Peace Plan: $4B West Bank Boost

Private cash will drastically cut unemployment, he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2013 5:10 AM CDT
Kerry's Peace Plan: $4B Boost for West Bank Economy
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa in Jordan yesterday.   (AP Photo/Pool, Jim Young)

John Kerry has unveiled a plan to get Israeli-Palestinian peace talks moving—and the West Bank economy bustling—with a $4 billion injection of private sector funds. (The money wouldn't come from US taxpayers, but the State Department shed little light on the companies or kinds of investments involved.) Speaking at a World Economic Forum conference yesterday, the secretary of state said the investment could boost the Palestinian GDP by 50% in just three years and cut unemployment from 21% to around 8%, the Washington Post reports.

"Now, is this fantasy? I don't think so, because there are already great examples of investment and entrepreneurship that are working in the West Bank," Kerry told the audience, which included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, CNN reports. Kerry said the plan—which will be dependent on progress in peace talks—will focus on boosting the West Bank's tourism and agriculture sectors. (More West Bank stories.)

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