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U.S. secretary of state to attend donors conference in Cairo

Source: Xinhua | 02-13-2009 08:13

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said here on Thursday that his American counterpart Hillary Rodham Clinton will attend the international donors' conference for rebuilding Gaza, due to be held in Cairo of Egypt on March 2.

After meeting with Clinton at the State Department, Aboul Gheit told reporters he had invited the U.S. secretary of state to the Cairo meeting and that she had accepted. "The secretary will be coming to Cairo on the second of March," Aboul Gheit said.

Aboul Gheit welcomed the Obama administration's appointment of former senator George Mitchell to be a special envoy for the Middle East peace process. He expressed the belief that the United States would place more pressure on Israel to halt the construction of Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian areas.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that the coming international donors' conference in Cairo was designed to address the immediate humanitarian suffering in Gaza and the reconstruction of Gaza as an integral part of a future Palestinian state.

The statement also urged international donors to provide "substantial levels" of aid for Gaza where more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed and 5,000 injured, and around 21,000 homes were destroyed during a 22-day Israeli military offensive.

Washington has not provided any information about how much it might pledge at the donors conference, which is expected to be attended by more than 70 countries.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei