Palestinian PM Blames Egypt Turmoil on Failed Mideast Talks

French president Nicolas Sarkozy (C) shakes hands with Palestinian Prime minister Salam Fayyad prior to a meeting on February 3, 2011 at the Elysee palace in Paris. (Photo by PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Feb 3 (KATAKAMI.COM / VOA) — Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process was one of the root causes of the bloody upheaval in Egypt.

Speaking during a visit to Paris, Fayyad said the violent unrest in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East stemmed from internal problems as well as “frustration” with the failure to solve the Palestinian issue.

Fayyad was holding dinner talks Thursday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to review progress following a 2007 donors conference that pledged $7.7 billion in aid to Palestinians.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said earlier in the day that France was ready to organize a second such conference on the condition that it include a “political dimension” leading to a future Palestinian state.  (*)

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Photostream : French President Nicolas Sarkozy meets Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

French president Nicolas Sarkozy (L) shakes hands with Palestinian Prime minister Salam Fayyad after a meeting on February 3, 2011 at the Elysee palace in Paris. (Photo by PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (C) shakes hands with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (L) as he arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris February 3, 2011. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

French president Nicolas Sarkozy (C) shakes hands with Palestinian Prime minister Salam Fayyad prior to a meeting on February 3, 2011 at the Elysee palace in Paris. (Photo by PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian Prime minister Salam Fayyad answers journalists' questions after a meeting with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on February 3, 2011 at the Elysee palace in Paris. (Photo by PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian Prime minister Salam Fayyad answers journalists' questions after a meeting with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on February 3, 2011 at the Elysee palace in Paris. (Photo by PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinians to hold municipal elections

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

Feb 01 (KATAKAMI.COM / JPOST) — The Western-backed Palestinian government in the West Bank says it will hold local council elections “as soon as possible.”

The move appears to be a response to unrest in Egypt, where demonstrators have staged days of rallies against the authoritarian government. The Palestinian Authority has not held elections since 2006.

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s Cabinet said Tuesday it will set dates for the vote next week.

Fayyad hopes to hold elections in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But in reality, Gaza will likely not participate since it is controlled by the rival Hamas militant group.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas canceled local elections in the West Bank in 2009 when it appeared that his Fatah movement would lose to independents.   (*)

Photo : Prime Minister Salam Fayyad while heading the Palestinian Cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad while heading the Palestinian Cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 25, 2011 ( Photo by: Mustafa Abu Dayeh / PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE )

Photostream : Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad meets Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (R) meets with Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere (L) on January 12, 2011 Ramallah, West Bank. (Photo by Fadi Arouri-Pool/Getty Images)

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (R) shakes hands with Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Fadi Arouri/Pool

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (R) and Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere attend a news conference after their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian aid dependence to dip in 2011 : Salam Fayyad

FILE : Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan 12 (KATAKAMI / Reuters) – The Palestinian Authority’s dependence on foreign aid will drop to less than $1 billion in 2011, from $1.2 billion in 2010, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday. Fayyad, a former World Bank economist, has reduced the territory’s annual dependence on international aid from around $2 billion since he took office in 2007. He wants to do away with foreign aid completely by 2013.

Financial support from the United States, the European Union and Arab states allows the Palestinian Authority to pay the salaries of around 150,000 bureaucrats, teachers and members of the Palestinian security forces.

“We expect that a deficit in this range (of less than $1 billion) … will be within the framework of what it is possible for the donors to finance,” he said.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, head of an international committee that oversees aid to the PA, praised Fayyad for lowering the foreign aid requirement. He was speaking alongside Fayyad at a news conference in Ramallah.

“I am looking forward to the day when I will stop any aid to the Palestinian Authority because I know that if this Palestinian economy will be run like any other economy it will do without aid,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority faced a financial crisis last year due to late payment of funds expected from its Arab backers. The crisis was eventually eased thanks to payments from states including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. (*)

Photostream : Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad meets EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad (R) shows EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton an area disputed with Israel on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 6, 2011. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, left, and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, right, gesture towards Ofer prison, an Israeli detention facility for Palestinians, as they tour the West Bank city of Ramallah, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. Ashton is on an official visit to the region. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad (R) shows EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton an area disputed with Israel on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 6, 2011. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad (R) shows EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton an area disputed with Israel on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 6, 2011. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad : Palestinians seek more than a 'Facebook state'

Palestinian Prime Minister said Palestinians expect wider recognition of their statehood in 2011. -- PHOTO: AP

Please also visit : KATAKAMI.COM and INDONESIAKATAKAMI.BLOGSPOT.COM

RAMALLAH, December 30, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE STRAITS TIMES) — PALESTINIANS expect wider recognition of their statehood in the coming year and it will mean more than the mere ‘Facebook state’ predicted by an Israeli official, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Wednesday.

Mr Fayyad said recognition by many countries would ‘enshrine’ the Palestinians’ right to a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel captured along with East Jerusalem in a 1967 war.

Seventeen years of peace efforts had failed to deliver this promise, he told reporters. The current Israeli coalition’s stated commitment to a two-state solution could not be relied on ‘given the erosion that has taken place’, he said.

Jewish settlement of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem has doubled since the interim Oslo accords of 1993.

Direct peace talks revived by Washington in September after a year’s suspension collapsed within weeks. A US drive to keep the process alive via third-party talks is in limbo.

The Palestinians reject further negotiation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until Jewish settlement of West Bank land is frozen and Mr Netanyahu states clearly what size and shape of state he envisages agreeing to eventually. ‘It is very important for that to be defined,’ Mr Fayyad said.   (*)

Source : THE STRAITS TIMES & REUTERS

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