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07 May 2002

U.S. Says Palestinian Authority Needs to Reform As It Reconstructs

(Boucher calls for transparency; elimination of corruption, violence)
As the Palestinian Authority reconstructs itself, the United States
hopes Palestinian leaders will recognize the need "to do things
differently than they have in the past," said State Department
Spokesman Richard Boucher.
Speaking at the State Department's daily press briefing in Washington
May 7, Boucher said the objective, as stated by President Bush and
Secretary of State Powell, is for the Palestinian Authority to
establish itself "in a way that's transparent, non-corrupt, and
doesn't tolerate violence or support terrorism."
Boucher said international donors who are providing funds to the
Palestinian Authority also desired those reforms because they want to
see the money of their taxpayers "well-spent."
"They want to make sure the money is properly used, that it's not
wasted, that there is no corruption and that it's not given to fuel
violence," said Boucher.
Boucher said the Bush Administration considers security, economic,
political and humanitarian concerns "an integrated set of issues."
"[W]e think we need to achieve progress on security issues, on
economic and humanitarian assistance side of the equation, so that
Palestinians, in particular, can have -- return to more normal lives.
And it would achieve progress on the political side, as well, so that
people can have hope and see a chance of resolution in their future,"
said Boucher.
Following are excerpts from the May 7 State Department briefing
concerning the Middle East:
(begin excerpt)
QUESTION: This is about the Israeli dossier or intelligence report
that officials say links Arafat to terrorism. Have you had a -- has
the administration had a chance to review these documents? Are these
things that you already knew about before?
MR. BOUCHER: I don't really have a book review for you or an
assessment at this point. We certainly have been aware -- we know
quite well -- we've spoken ourselves of the problems that exist within
the Palestinian Authority with Chairman Arafat's leadership. Our
objective, as the President and the Secretary have stated, is to move
forward to the point where the Palestinian Authority, as they
reconstruct themselves, that they establish themselves in a way that's
transparent, non-corrupt, and doesn't tolerate violence or support
terrorism. That's been the President's goal and the Secretary's goal,
and he has described how we do want to and intend to move down that
So as we have known about these problems, we'll look at the Israeli
information and see if they've acquired new and additional
information. But the point remains to try to move forward where
Palestinian leaders across the board recognize that they need to do
things differently than they have in the past. And that's the point
the Secretary made in Ramallah, it's the point the President has made
in his speeches and his repeated statements, and that remains the goal
for moving forward in the future the way we've described it.
QUESTION: What has the United States asked of the donor countries to
the Palestinians to institute in the way of controls on money to go to
the Palestinians, and in a way that keeps them out of the sole control
of Yasser Arafat?
MR. BOUCHER: Some of this discussion on how the money is channeled and
controlled and used will be done as we do the assessments and start
targeting the money. But I think it is common to all the donors that
they want to make sure that their money is well spent. After all, it
comes from taxpayers around the world. They want to make sure the
money is properly used, that it's not wasted, that there's no
corruption, and that it's not given to fuel violence. So as we start
working with the Palestinians themselves, as we start working with the
other donors, I think it will be quite clear that the international
community would intend to work to foster more transparency, to
eliminate corruption and to stop -- not to support any activities that
are associated with violence.
(end excerpts)
(end excerpt)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site:

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