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Qatar to provide $150m in debt relief to Palestinian Authority

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Qatar has agreed to provide $150 million in debt relief to the Palestinian Authority. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Monday, as talks between Israel and the Palestinians were intensifying.

The Secretary of State has praised Qatar’s move to provide the “urgently needed” debt relief for Palestinians saying that he was “confident” that other Arab countries would follow in its steps, according to Agence France-Presse.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah meanwhile said the Arab League was “concerned about the environment” surrounding the peace talks, referring to the expansion of Israeli settlements and the isolation of the Gaza strip.

“We talked about the issue of Gaza and the futility of isolating Gaza,” he was quoted as saying by AFP.

“There are millions of people living in Gaza and they are in need of food supplies and medicine,” Attiyah also said.

“There must be a way to open the crossing points to all parties to enable the people in Gaza to live.”

Israelis and Palestinians negotiators have held 13 meetings including three meetings in the last four days, Kerry said at a joint news conference with Attiyah.

“The pace has intensified, all the core issues are on the table and they have been meeting with increased intensity,” Kerry was quoted as saying by AFP.

The Secretary of State has put many efforts into restarting peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, which were frozen in September 2010.

The two sides resumed direct talks for the first time in nearly three years in Washington at the end of July.

“The Israeli and Palestinian people both have leaders who absolutely understand what is at stake and they have taken risks to bring both parties to the table,” Kerry was quoted as saying by AFP.

Kerry is to meet later this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome to discuss the peace talks.

(With AFP)