About US gives $40m aid to Palestinians
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News article: US gives $40m aid to Palestinians
SwordFish_13 February 7th, 2005
Condoleezza Rice referred to Mahmoud Abbas as 'President'
**SwordFish Whistels** Runs Away** ..............
US gives $40m aid to Palestinians
The US has pledged to give $40m (£21m) in the next 90 days to the Palestinian Authority amid new peace hopes.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US would also appoint a "security co-ordinator" and peace monitors to help Palestinian reform.
Ms Rice was speaking at a news conference after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.
Mr Abbas welcomed US intervention and called on Israel to take its own measures to work towards peace.
He said he hoped his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Tuesday would help advance the process.
The Israeli-Palestinian meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh - without any US involvement - will be the highest-level talks between the two sides since the intifada broke out in 2000.
Ms Rice said the US "will be very active" in new efforts to find common ground between Israel and the Palestinians.
She announced that both Mr Abbas and Mr Sharon had accepted invitations to visit President George Bush at the White House in the spring.
She said that of some $350m promised to the Palestinian Authority last week by Mr Bush, $40m would be handed over immediately for a "quick action programme" to create jobs and rebuild infrastructure.
She announced the appointment of US Lieutenant-General William Ward to "encourage resumption of bilateral security co-ordination".
He is expected to visit the region in the coming weeks.
'Committed to ceasefire'
Mr Abbas said Palestinians were working to implement their commitments under the internationally-backed "roadmap for peace", and "we hope the Israeli side will do the same".
Asked whether the unofficial ceasefire undertaken by militants would last, he said: "I believe everyone is committed to this ceasefire and they showed this in the past few days."
Ms Rice met Mr Sharon on Sunday.
She commended Israel on its "historic" decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, but reminded it of the need to live up to its roadmap obligations.
The BBC's Matthew Price in Ramallah says Mr Abbas will have been encouraged by Ms Rice's conciliatory tone.
Our correspondent says the crucial test of the two sides' goodwill will be if they can get past the next major act of violence without reverting to their past animosity.
The peace process has been given new life since the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, correspondents say.
Both Mr Sharon and the US had refused to negotiate with Arafat, branding him an obstacle to peace.
Throughout her press conference with Mr Abbas, Ms Rice referred to him as "President Abbas", marking a break with recent history, and the title bestowed on "Chairman Arafat".
On Monday the Israeli army reopened the Karni crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, allowing vital cargo shipments to the Palestinians to resume.
The crossing was closed after six Israelis were killed in a militant attack there in mid-January.
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on February 7th, 2005
Yeah well get rid of a trouble maker like Arafat and you get proper recognition. Abbas deserves the title. Arafat never did.
on February 7th, 2005
That's what the problem is.................. it's Just a
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