Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/palestinian Authority : Eu to Set Up International Mechanism for Delivering Aid

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/palestinian Authority : Eu to Set Up International Mechanism for Delivering Aid

Article excerpt

In the transatlantic debate launched by the suspension of direct international aid to the Palestinian Authority, the EU has notched up a success. The four members of the Quartet (EU, United States, Russia and the UN), meeting in New York on 9 May, have charged it with putting in place a temporary international mechanism allowing for the dispatch of aid to the Palestinians suspended since the arrival in power of the present Hamas led government. The proposal was backed by EU representatives, anxious that the situation in the territories continues to degrade while the current block remains in place. Their position meant that they came up against opposition from Washington, which appears instead to be betting on a collapse of the present Palestinian government.

"It is a big step forward", declared the spokeswoman for EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who specified that work on the future mechanism had started at the Commission, and would take several weeks. A consultation meeting with the other donors will be organised in Brussels "as soon as possible" in order to help define it. The mechanism, which will be reviewed after three months, aims to find a method for releasing funds in order to meet the fundamental needs of the Palestinian people, without them passing through the hands of the Hamas government. The money will be held "outside the Palestinian Authority", and also should not go through the office of President Mahmoud Abbas, specified the Commission, contrary to what had been proposed by some figures within the EU. …

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