Kerry pushes $4 billion West Bank development plan
May 28, 2013 -- Updated 0027 GMT (0827 HKT)
- The initiative could increase Palestinian GDP by as much as 50%, Kerry says
- He announces the plan during a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Jordan
- Netanyahu, Abbas support the plan, but specific details are scant
(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry outlined Sunday a $4 billion economic development plan for the West Bank that he hopes will help encourage peace in the region.
Details were scant on the proposal, which he announced in Jordan during a meeting of the World Economic Forum.
"The fact is that we are looking to mobilize some $4 billion of investment," Kerry said.
A team is looking at opportunities in tourism, construction, energy and agriculture, among other industries, and will make recommendations to the Palestinians, he added.
Experts believe the plan could increase the Palestinian GDP by as much s 50% over three years and cut unemployment to 8% from 21%, Kerry said.
The initiative is supported by both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"Now, is this fantasy? I don't think so, because there are already great examples of investment and entrepreneurship that are working in the West Bank," Kerry told the crowd, which included Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres.
"So we know it can be done, but we've never experienced the kind of concentrated effort that this group is talking about bringing to the table."
He did not mention the names of any companies involved in the proposal, nor was it clear when and exactly on what the money would be spent.
Kerry has made the Israeli-Palestinian issue the centerpiece of his tenure as America's top diplomat.
He has spent more time on this issue than any other, is in almost daily contact with Netanyahu and speaks with Abbas several times a week.
"Negotiations can't succeed if you don't negotiate," he said Sunday.
"We are reaching a critical point where tough decisions have to be made. And I just ask all of you to keep your eyes focused on what can really be done here. Think of all that can change."
CNN's Dana Ford and Elise Labott contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.