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Blair praises Israeli gestures to PA

July 14, 2009 at 7:19 AM
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JERUSALEM, July 14 (UPI) -- Recent steps taken by Israel to improve the quality of life for Palestinians are not getting enough credit, Mideast envoy Tony Blair said.

Blair made the statements at a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Silvan Shalom, minister of Regional Development in Jerusalem, Monday evening, Maariv said Tuesday.

Blair praised the recent removal of West Bank checkpoints and roadblocks by Israel and recent steps taken to boost the Palestinian economy, the paper said.

Measures include extending the operating hours of the Allenby Bridge border terminal on Israel's border with Jordan and Israel's plans to build light industrial zones in Bethlehem and a processing and export plant to be built in Jericho, the paper said.

A statement issued by the prime minister's office said Netanyahu stressed that to implement further measures, greater cooperation from the Palestinians is required.

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