|HUD No. 00-147|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Saturday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||June 24, 2000|
CUOMO MEETS ARAFAT, TOURS GAZA
GAZA CITY - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo met with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian officials Friday, and toured housing developments in the Gaza Strip, as he wrapped up his visit to the region.
Cuomo and Arafat discussed Middle East peace developments and other issues. Also attending the meeting in Gaza City were Palestinian Council Speaker Abu Ala’s, Arafat adviser Nabil Abu Rndeinah, Housing Minister Abdulrahman Hamad, Nablus Mayor Ghassen Shaka, and Minister Tayyib Abdul Rahim.
"It is good to see that years of confrontation are being replaced by negotiation in the Middle East, in hopes of achieving a lasting peace that will benefit everyone in the region," Cuomo said.
Cuomo and the Palestinian officials discussed possible future joint efforts in housing finance and economic development and a trip for Palestinian officials to come to the United States to learn more about American practices in these areas.
During his three-day trip to the Middle East, Cuomo met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and signed an understanding with his Israeli counterpart, Housing and Construction Minister Yitzhak Levi, to create a Bi-National Commission on Housing and Economic Development.