Skip to main content

Kerry pushes $4 billion West Bank development plan

By CNN Staff
updated 8:27 PM EDT, Mon May 27, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The initiative could increase Palestinian GDP by as much as 50%, Kerry says
  • He announces the plan during a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Jordan
  • Netanyahu, Abbas support the plan, but specific details are scant

(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry outlined Sunday a $4 billion economic development plan for the West Bank that he hopes will help encourage peace in the region.

Details were scant on the proposal, which he announced in Jordan during a meeting of the World Economic Forum.

"The fact is that we are looking to mobilize some $4 billion of investment," Kerry said.

A team is looking at opportunities in tourism, construction, energy and agriculture, among other industries, and will make recommendations to the Palestinians, he added.

Experts believe the plan could increase the Palestinian GDP by as much s 50% over three years and cut unemployment to 8% from 21%, Kerry said.

The initiative is supported by both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"Now, is this fantasy? I don't think so, because there are already great examples of investment and entrepreneurship that are working in the West Bank," Kerry told the crowd, which included Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

"So we know it can be done, but we've never experienced the kind of concentrated effort that this group is talking about bringing to the table."

He did not mention the names of any companies involved in the proposal, nor was it clear when and exactly on what the money would be spent.

Kerry has made the Israeli-Palestinian issue the centerpiece of his tenure as America's top diplomat.

He has spent more time on this issue than any other, is in almost daily contact with Netanyahu and speaks with Abbas several times a week.

"Negotiations can't succeed if you don't negotiate," he said Sunday.

"We are reaching a critical point where tough decisions have to be made. And I just ask all of you to keep your eyes focused on what can really be done here. Think of all that can change."

CNN's Dana Ford and Elise Labott contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:35 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
updated 3:51 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
CNN attends a funeral where mourners keep their distance.
updated 5:13 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Obama's remarks that he didn't yet have a strategy for ISIS in Syria is widely criticized.
updated 7:26 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
updated 5:55 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT