Prime Minister Hails French Support as Investment in Peace, Regional Stability

PARIS, September 10, 2015 (WAFA) – Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Thursday hailed French support to the Palestinian economy as an investment in peace and stability in the entire region.

Hamdallah stated that the French support to and investment in the Palestinian economy is “an investment in democracy, peace and regional stability, considering that Palestine is a gate to democracy and peace in the Arab world and a model for inter-faith coexistence.”

Hamdallah made his remarks during an official visit to Paris, where he met his French counterpart Manuel Valls and a host of representatives of international companies, industrial federations and French government ministries.

The meeting was attended by Chairman of the French Employers MEDEF International, Jean Burelle, French Consul General in Jerusalem Hervé Margo, Palestinian Economy Minister Abeer Odeh, Palestinian Minister of Local Governance Hussein al-‘Araj, Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara together with a host of Palestinian officials and diplomats.

Hamdallah, according to a press release issued by the Palestinian cabinet, discussed means of French investment in Palestine, especially in the Palestinian private sector. He highlighted that the Palestinian cabinet has locally and internationally adopted several steps and decisions for the promotion of investment, especially from France.

Such steps to promote French investment, Hamdallah added, have been (are) reinforced by setting up an economic partnership with France and implementing several projects, most recently the first phase of Bethlehem Multidisciplinary Industrial Park (BMIP).

Premier Hamdallah affirmed that the cabinet is willing to offer French investors all necessary facilities as part of tireless efforts, exerted in cooperation with international partners, to promote the Palestinian economy despite all Israeli obstacles depriving Palestinians’ access to their natural resources, especially in Area C, which makes up 64% of the occupied West Bank.

Hamdallah explained if the cabinet is enabled to particularly invest in metals sector, the Palestinian GDP would jump by 9%.

The prime minister urged French businessmen to boost their investment in the Gaza Strip. He briefed them on the latest developments regarding the Gaza reconstruction process, the Palestinian cabinet’s contacts with donors to support the implementation of many projects in the war-torn strip and the Israeli ongoing blockade.

Hamdallah affirmed the Palestinian leadership would remain committed to peaceful resistance and the two-state solution and would continue to gear up for passing a UNSC resolution that would set a deadline for ending the Israeli occupation and ensure the establishment of a contiguous, sovereign and independent Palestinian state.