Middle East

International Development written question – answered on 30th March 2006.

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Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Labour, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development

(1) if he will make a statement on the G8 aid pledged to the Palestinians in the light of the recent Palestinian elections;

(2) what assessment he has made of the capacity of the Palestinian Authority to administer funds pledged by the G8 and EU.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn The Secretary of State for International Development

The agreement reached at the G8 summit was to support the Quartet Special Envoy for Disengagement, Mr. James Wolfensohn, in his intention to stimulate a global financial contribution of up to $3 billion per year over the coming three years. However, this was based on a recognition that certain conditions need to be in place for additional aid to be effective, notably on movement and access to markets for Palestinians.

An agreement reached on November 15, 2005, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on movement and access would, if implemented, meet several of those conditions. So far this agreement has not been fully implemented.

Following the recent Palestinian elections in which Hamas won an absolute majority further assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is under review. The Quartet, comprising the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia has said that aid to the future Palestinian Government will depend on it giving up violence, recognising Israel's right to exist and signing up to previous peace agreements.

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