Secretary of State Clinton Addresses Gaza Conference
by sandy, Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 04:54:02 PM EST
Hillary Clinton attended the Gaza Reconstruction Conference today, along with Special Envoy Mitchell and officials from 80 countries and international organizations. The meeting focused not only on a plan to repair the damage from the 3 week attack by Israel, but also a plan to rebuild the Gaza economy and lift the Israeli blockade. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has proposed the US backed Palestinian Authority control and distribute the $5.3 billion that was pledged today. This is a point of contention with many Palestinians, as Hamas has control of Gaza and also won the majority of seats in the recent election.
Secretary of State Clinton praised the presentation from Prime Minister Fayyad, saying it was as good as she’s seen from anyone. She also appeared to make it clear that US financial support is contingent on management by the Palestinian Authority, saying “that the international community is committed to.. help the Palestinian Authority's efforts to improve the lives of all the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.” She further pointed to the “responsible Palestinian partners, including President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad,” when discussing progress in the lives and governance of Palestinians. Any rumors that Senator Kerry’s visit to Gaza is a signal of a change in US policy towards Hamas appear to be unfounded.
When asked if she shared President Sarkozy belief that there would be a Palestinian state by the end of the year, she said she believed with all her heart it could be done, if those involved were to say “yes, let's take a chance on peace, and let's provide the opportunity for the Palestinian people to build and create a better future for their children.”
Mrs. Clinton gave a sincere commitment that the US would work towards peace and gave a personal wish for a brighter future for the children, who are always of primary interest to the Secretary. A child in Gaza has the same right as a child anywhere in the world to a good education, to health care, and to a better future. Parents in the West Bank have the same right as parents anywhere in the world to a good job, to housing, to a better opportunity for their children.
That is what motivates me, and I believe that will be the basis on which we discuss how best to realize the goal of a two-state solution, a comprehensive peace, and a better future for Israeli and Palestinian children.
Keep up to date on foreign affairs with our page on Secretary of State Clinton's Travels.Crosspost: http://www.obama-mamas.com/blog/?p=188