Palestinian Finance Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, stated on Wednesday after a meeting with the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, that he is optimistic that the restrictions and sanctions on the Palestinian government will be lifted.US envoy to the Middle East, David Welch, also attended the Fayyad-Rice meeting that was held in Washington.

Fayyad stated that he became more optimistic that international banks will start dealing with the new government since he felt a better understanding of the current Palestinian situation, during his meetings with various US officials.

He added that this understanding encourages the donors to transfer the needed financial support without any delays. Fayyad stated that if the restrictions on the banks are not lifted, the situation in the Palestinian territories could deteriorate further and lead to more violence.

Moreover, Fayyad stated that he informed Rice that enabling his finance ministry to deal directly with the banks in a transparent way would facilitate its work in order to carry out its tasks.

Fayyad’s visit to the United States is part of his international tour which he started in Europe where he met with several EU leaders. During his meetings with the EU leaders, Fayyad informed them that the Palestinian Authority is in immediate need for financial support in order to be able to carry out its tasks and pay the late salaries of its employees.

He called for the immediate release of the embargo and said that the world must start dealing with the new Palestinian Unity government.

So far, the United States and the European Union reject the transfer of direct aid to the Palestinians even after they formed the Unity Government, and are demanding that the Hamas movement clearly accepts the conditions of the Quartet.

The Quartet demanded the Hamas movement, which enjoys a parliamentarian majority , to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept the previously signed peace deals. Hamas offered an extended truce with Israel but said that it cannot recognize a state that is still occupying the Palestinian people and their land.

On Tuesday night, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas landed in Poland to resume his European tour that aims at lifting the siege imposed on the Palestinians. Abbas flew to Poland from France after meeting with the French president Jacques Chirac.

Abbas told Chirac that extremism and fundamentalism increase under the siege and could lead to an uncontrollable results if this embargo continues to strangle the Palestinians.

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