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21 January 2000
News Release No:
Contact Person:
Abdallah Bouhabib (202) 473-2623

World Bank President Meets Palestinian Leader For Talks

WASHINGTON, January 21, 2000
-- World Bank President James Wolfensohn met today with Palestinian Authority President, Yasser Arafat at the Bank's headquarters in Washington.

Wolfensohn offered the Bank's congratulations to President Arafat on a January 10 presidential decree that calls for fundamental reforms in public administration and financial management sectors. The two sides discussed the ways and means that the Bank could support enterprise reform and institutional development to ensure speedy implementation of the decree. They also discussed the importance of establishing the right legal framework for the West Bank and Gaza and how the Bank could assist the Palestinian Authority in formulating an agenda for judicial reform.

President Arafat also welcomed the proposal of Peter Woicke, Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation, the Bank's private sector arm, to host an investor conference in London this summer aimed at promoting private sector investment in the West Bank and Gaza.

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