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Blair, Peres highlight importance to improve Palestinian economy
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12:18, February 07, 2008

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Visiting Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair met with Israeli President Shimon Peres Wednesday morning, highlighting the importance to improve the Palestinian economy.

Blair and Peres voiced their concerns about the Palestinians to reporters after the meeting, local daily Jerusalem Post reported on its website.

Blair was quoted as saying that with all the reasons for concern over continuing rocket attacks, it was important to keep focus on economic potential as many industrial projects were making progress.

"There is an awful lot we can do. None of it is a substitute for political negotiations and the political process, but economic progress can supplement the political process," Blair told the reporters.

He stressed "the more economic potential that can be offered for the future, the better the chances of resolving the political situation."

For his part, Peres stated that he was very pleased that Blair was back in the region to aid the economic effort. "There is very little we can do in Gaza but a lot which we can do in the Valley of Peace, where a great deal of investment can be injected," Peres said.

He referred to an economic project he has championed in the Dead Sea area which is intended to increase regional stability and cooperation.

Source: Xinhua

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