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China supports Palestinian development plan
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China welcomes and supports the Palestinian government's three-year development plan to revive the economy, China's special envoy on the Middle East issue said in Paris on Monday.


Sun Bigan said so at the international donors' conference for Palestine hosted by France. He also announced China has decided to fund the plan with 80 million RMB (11 million US dollars) in free aid.


He said the Palestinian economic development plan drawn up by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for the next three years would help improve the Palestinians' livelihood and boost their confidence in the peace process.


He also believed it would also "create a favorable atmosphere for the ongoing political peace talks (between Israel and the Palestinians) and lay a solid foundation for the future establishment of a Palestinian state."


He further said the economic development in Palestine is closely connected with the region's political process.


He said China has offered the Palestinians economic assistance in various forms, as part of international efforts to help improve the Palestinians' economic situation and social development.




French President Nicolas Sarkozy (C), French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (L) and former British Prime Minister and international envoy for the Middle East Tony Blair arrive at the international donors conference in Paris Dec. 17, 2007.


World powers and international donors met here on Monday to mobilize political and financial support for the Palestinians. Fayyad's plan drew a total of 7.4 billion US dollars in aid, which is seen as a big potential stimulus for the newly-relaunched Middle East peace process.


Sun said China is a dedicated supporter of the Middle East peace process and firmly believed in the negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


After the conference, Sun will head to the Middle East to visit Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Syria.



French President Nicolas Sarkozy (C) welcomes US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (L) as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas looks on at the start of the international donors conference in Paris Dec. 17, 2007.


(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2007)

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