WASHINGTON (CNN) — Citing a “renewed opportunity for peace” in the Middle East, the Bush administration said Wednesday it will give $20 million directly to the Palestinian Authority.
Assistant Secretary of State William Burns made the announcement in Oslo, Norway, at a meeting of the Palestinian Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, a group representing various countries and organizations promoting Palestinian reforms.
Burns said the decision to give the money to the authority was made after the group fulfilled its promises for financial reform, and reflected U.S. “confidence” in the continuation of its reform program….
McClellan told reporters that said Bush sees “a real opportunity” to “move forward on helping the Palestinian people realize a viable, democratic state.”
“We certainly have a national security interest in helping to end violence in the area and to move toward the president’s two-state vision that he outlined in 2002,” McClellan said.
He continued: “This contribution of financial assistance hopefully will send a signal to other nations as well that they should help the Palestinian people as they move forward on conducting these elections.”