Clinton hints at Syria deal as part of Middle East peace push
Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem
The Guardian, Tuesday 3 March 2009
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, began her first round of Middle East diplomacy yesterday by promising to pursue peace between Israel and the Arabs on "many fronts" as an international conference raised pledges of more than $4bn in aid to the Palestinians.
Clinton spoke at the donors' conference at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where the Palestinian Authority was seeking a huge aid injection, partly for reconstruction in Gaza in the aftermath of Israel's three-week war.
Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said donors had pledged $4.48bn (£3.2bn) in funding to be spent in the next two years. It was "beyond our expectations", he said. Other previous but undelivered pledges were recommitted, bringing the total promised to $5.2b
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