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March 9, 2014

Talks to help Palestinian economy open in Prague

Opening the two-day event, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says there is ‘enormous potential’ for doing business in the Palestinian Territories.

By  | Mar. 8, 2014 | 4:35 PM |

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Saturday that there is enormous potential for doing business in the Palestinian Territories.

Blair, who serves as special envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East, spoke alongside former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to open a two-day meeting as part of an initiative hoping to bring billions of dollars in investments to the struggling Palestinian economy.

Blair says the initiative that brings together politicians, Palestinian and international business representatives and financial institutions is meant to produce “the most detailed … plan for the Palestinian economy.”

It is unclear if any major deal can be announced in Prague because business development is closely linked to progress in the deadlocked negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Earlier this month, ministers and high-ranking officials from 22 countries and five international organizations participated in the one-day conference Indonesian capital of Jakarta, called the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development.

During the conference, Japan pledged more than $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority, as other representatives reiterated their support of the Palestinians’ quest for their own state.