British chancellor lauds ‘extraordinary progress’ of PA 31Oct11 October 31, 2011

Ma’an News Agency   -  30 October 2011

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne hailed the achievements of the Palestinian Authority in building state institutions and pledged UK support for economic development, after meeting with PA premier Salam Fayyad on Friday.

“I am delighted to have had the honor to meet Dr Fayyad and congratulate him on the extraordinary progress President Mahmoud Abbas and he have achieved in building the institutions of State,” the UK economy official said after meeting the prime minister at the consulate offices in East Jerusalem.

“I am proud that the UK is continuing to support (their) work,” Osborne said, according to a statement from the British Consulate in Jerusalem.

Britain has allocated £262 million ($422 million) to support Palestinian development over the next three years, the statement said.

Osborne also met Israel’s finance minister Yuval Steinitz, the Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fisher and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon on Friday during his first official visit to the region since taking office in 2010.

Fayyad and Osborne discussed the state of the Palestinian economy and plans to counter the worldwide financial crisis, the statement said.

The chancellor said he was “very interested” in Fayyad’s views on the challenges and solutions regarding the Palestinian economy and stressed UK support for Fayyad’s economic reform program.

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