SINGAPORE: Singapore will increase its technical assistance to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), with an enhanced package worth S$5 million over five years.
Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, announced this at the inaugural Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) in Tokyo on Thursday.
Mr Masagos said the new assistance package will include training courses and study visits, as well as post-graduate scholarships that are customised to meet the specific needs of the PNA.
He said this demonstrates Singapore's continued commitment to support Palestinian capacity-building efforts.
He hopes the PNA will find this new technical assistance package useful and constructive.
Mr Masagos said Singapore will continue to support all international efforts to facilitate a negotiated solution that will be in the long-term interests of Palestine, Israel and the region as a whole.
It will also continue to provide technical assistance to Palestine in areas most relevant and impactful to its development.
Mr Masagos also called on Prime Minister of the PNA, Dr Salam Fayyad, on Wednesday.
Dr Fayyad thanked Mr Masagos for Singapore's participation.
The leaders agreed that both sides faced some similar developmental challenges, given their small size and limited natural resources.
Dr Fayyad said that there are lessons that Palestine can learn from Singapore's development experience.
The PNA, he said, is particularly interested in developing its education sector.
Singapore had offered a million-dollar technical assistance package for Palestine at the Paris Donors Conference in 2007.
Under this package, Palestinian officials have visited Singapore for training in areas such as public financial management, e-government and integrated land use planning.
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