April 12, 2007

EU Says No to Aiding Palestinian Unity Government

From Deutche Welle-Germany:

Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad has failed to convince the EU to agree to resume aid to the PA. EU External Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner repeated Wednesday in Brussels the international demands that the Palestinian government renounce violence, formally recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by former agreements. She said until that happened, the EU would only deal with what it considered to be Western-friendly members of the new Palestinian unity government. In 2006, the EU redirected its funding for the Palestinians through a special mechanism to help the neediest people while bypassing the government to avoid contact with Hamas - which it considers a terrorist organization. Ferrero-Waldner said this temporary mechanism would continue, but offered Fayyad technical assistance for his ministry.