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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 14, 2008


U.S.-Palestinian Partnership Leaders to Travel to the West Bank

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman, together with American Task Force on Palestine President Ziad Asali and Case Foundation CEO Jean Case, will lead a delegation to the West Bank from November 15 through 18. As co-chairs of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership (UPP), they will attend the inauguration of a youth development and resource center in the village of Beita. This is the first of four youth development and resource centers that UPP is working to expand with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Youth and Sports.

These youth development and resource centers will provide young Palestinians with training in information technology, English language, athletics, and leadership and life skills to prepare them for full and productive participation in Palestinian society. The four primary centers, together with a network of more than 60 affiliated youth centers, also will benefit from revised standards, network-wide professional development, and internet connectivity. More than 7,500 Palestinian youth will benefit from this program.

Recognizing a stable economy creates hope and opportunity and a climate for peace, the delegation also will meet with public and private sector leaders to discuss additional investment opportunities and explore promising commercial enterprises in the West Bank. This visit underscores the important role President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have asked the U.S. private sector to play in support of the Palestinian Authority’s effort to create economic opportunity for the Palestinian people.

UPP was created in December 2007 by President Bush, Secretary Rice, and USAID Administrator Henrietta Fore. This public-private initiative helps create economic and educational opportunities to make a difference in the daily lives of the Palestinian people. In addition to its work to expand youth development and resource centers, UPP supports Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s efforts to attract international investment and is developing quick-impact projects to promote job creation in the West Bank.

UPP co-chairs are joined on this trip by several U.S. business leaders who are exploring business and social investment opportunities in the region. Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, Citigroup Chairman Emeritus Sandy Weill, and Henry Crown and Company Chairman Lester Crown also serve as co-chairs for UPP but are unable to join this delegation.

2008/955

Released on November 14, 2008

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