20 million euros from France to support the water sector and areas (c) in the West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - The Palestinian government on Thursday signed two agreements with France worth 20 million euros to support the West Bank's water sector and Area C.

The agreements were signed in the presence of Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ashtiyeh in the West Bank city of Ramallah, his office said in a statement.

The agreements were signed by Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara, Minister of Local Government Majdi Al-Saleh, President of the Palestinian Water Authority Mazen Ghoneim, French Consul General in the Palestinian Territories Rene Trokaz and Director General of the French Agency for Development Catherine Bonod.

Eshtayeh said France's support for a group of communities and villages in Area C worth 10 million euros is at the heart of his government's strategy of "stabilizing these areas as an integral part of the Palestinian territories."

He added that "the second agreement aims to strengthen water systems in villages west of Ramallah, and the first phase will be with the help of the French government of 10 million euros, and is expected to be followed by additional support from the European Union of 12 million euros."

Shtayyeh thanked "the partners in the French Development Agency and the French government for their support."

For his part, the French Consul Rene Trokaz, according to the statement, his country continued to support the development in Palestine in all fields in partnership with the Palestinian government, expressing thanks for keenness to the success of his country's development efforts in Palestine.

The West Bank and towns in Jerusalem, in accordance with the Oslo peace agreement signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, are divided into three areas, one (a) under full Palestinian control, the second (b) under Israeli and Palestinian security control, and (c) under Israeli security and administrative control.


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