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Kerry: Qatar will provide $150M in dept relief for Palestinians

Oct. 22, 2013 at 1:14 AM

PARIS, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Qatar has agreed to provide $150 million in debt relief to the Palestinian Authority, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday.

Kerry spoke prior to a meeting with Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid al-Atiyah in Paris, where the two men were attending a meeting of the Arab League. He thanked Qatar's ruler and people as well as the minister for their economic support of the Palestinians and said other Arab states are expected to follow their example.

"I want to stress that no economic track, no economic package or financial assistance will ever be a substitute for the political track," Kerry said. "But with our partnership and with our support and our economic investment, we can all help in order to provide a difference to the lives of people living in the neighborhood."

Kerry said both Israeli and Palestinian leaders understand the stakes in the latest effort to negotiate an independent Palestinian state.

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