Mahmoud Abbas calls U.S. to pay $80 m as help

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called on Sunday for implementing US President George W. Bush's vision of two states - Israel and Palestine.

"We have to reach the moment when the vision of President Bush to have two states for the Israelis and the Palestinians is implemented," Abbas told a join news conference with US envoy David Welch.

Abbas said a future Palestinian state will live side by side in peace with the state of Israel, which is withdrawing settlements in the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank, Xinhua reports.

He said the United States has provided 50 million US dollars for housing projects to create new jobs and will pay another 30 million dollars for water projects in the Palestinian territories.

Last May, US President George W Bush announced that Washington would extend $50m in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority after holding talks with Abbas at the White House.

"It has also approved a grant of $30m for water treatment projects and is prepared to ask donor countries to offer more economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority," Abbas was quoted as saying by News24.

Abbas met Welch, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, on Sunday in Gaza City as Israel continued to evict settlers and dismantle its 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip.

Welch has been a frequent visitor to the region in recent weeks as part of efforts to ensure that the first ever Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory passes off peacefully.

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