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Germany unveils ‘Future for Palestine’ plan

Germany unveiled plans for building schools and other institutions in the West Bank, if peace talks with Israel continue.

During Wednesday’s visit to Berlin by Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his country’s six-part “Future for Palestine” program would make it clear to the Palestinian population in the West Bank that peace talks with Israel pay off.

The program is financed with about $875,000 from Germany’s Foreign Ministry, and includes the building of four schools, a kindergarten, and a meeting center for the local population, according to news reports. A few German businesses have pledged to commit their own funds to futher the projects.

Fayad, who met with Chancellor Angela Merkel and with Steinmeier, reportedly welcomed the program but added that Israel must stop expanding settlements if peace talks are to be fruitful.

The Palestinian prime minister, who was accompanied by his foreign minister, Riad Malki, as well as a group of economists, also discussed the current security situation in the West Bank and Gaza with his hosts. He reportedly has asked for assistance in obtaining mobile radio communication systems and police vehicles.

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