U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced the transfer of $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority to help cover a budget shortfall.
Clinton made the announcement Friday in Washington. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad appeared by video link from the West Bank and thanked the U.S. for the assistance.
The $200 million is part of the $900 million pledged by the United States in March at a donors conference in Egypt.
Clinton called on all countries that wish to see a viable Palestinian state to join the U.S. in supporting the Palestinian Authority.
Clinton said the money will address the immediate needs of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and support the longer-term goal of fostering the conditions in which a Palestinian state can be recognized.
U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell will return to the region Saturday to try to revive peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.