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French FM hopes for Palestinian state by 2008

RAMALLAH, Feb 16 (KUNA) — French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Saturday that hopes were up for the establishment of a Palestinian state by the end of 2008.
In an interview with Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper, Kouchner called for Palestinians and Israelis to abide by the agreements reached in the Annapolis conference held in the US. Israel must cease building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem for the sake of peace, said Kouchner who also affirmed that Palestinians on their part must end all hostile activities against their neighbors.

Donations would continue to reach Palestinians, he said, adding that relief aid for the period between 2008 and 2010 would be to the tune of USD 300 million.

Kouchner also called on donors’ states to fulfill their commitments promised in the Paris donors’ conference last 2007.

Kouchner will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad this evening.