US proposes $100 million for Middle East Partnership Initiative
US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Marc Grossman, visited Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia on June 4-5, 2003, conveying US condolences for the Algerian earthquake and the May 16 terrorist attack in Morocco, and encouraging Tunisia to take advantage of the opportunities available in the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
He told his Tunisian audience that their country has begun to take advantage of programs available under MEPI, including exchanges of journalists, women political leaders, businessmen and entrepreneurs.
"Our proposition is to spend over $100 million in Financial Year 2003 in Middle Eastern countries under the MEPI. And, as I say, Tunisia can take great advantage of this program," he said.
Grossman also told his audience that the recent meetings between President Bush and Arab, Palestinian and Israeli leaders were "a very important first step" towards the goal of achieving a two state solution to the Middle East crisis.
He cited the end of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the appointment of Palestinian Prime
Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and Arab statements supporting Abbas, as well as both sides' acceptance of the road map as helping to change the environment in the region. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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