EU welcomes formation of Palestinian National Unity government
Palestine-European Union, Politics, 3/20/2007
The European Union has welcomed the formation of a Palestinian National Unity government and expressed its readiness to work with and to resume its assistance to a legitimate Palestinian government "adopting a platform reflecting the Quartet principles."
"The EU will carefully assess the platform and actions of the new government and its ministers," said a statement issued by the current German EU Presidency.
The statement said the EU is committed to continuing its vital assistance through the Temporary International Mechanism until the financial situation and future needs can be assessed.
EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner said yesterday that the European Union decided to continue its temporary aid to the new Palestinian government for three months.
The EU called on Israel to release of Palestinian tax and customs revenues withheld by Israel.
The 27-member European bloc urged the Palestinian government to support all efforts for the immediate release of the abducted Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit. It also called for the immediate release of Palestinian ministers and legislators detained in Israel.
France said today it was in favor of resuming aid to the new Palestinian government. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said at a press briefing that France considered "direct financial aid to the new government should be resumed" and France is "currently defending that position with our European counterparts".
Already France last week said it would resume contacts between Foreign Ministers and invited the Palestinian Foreign Minister to visit Paris. Failing that, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy vowed to visit counterpart Ziad Abu Amro in Palestine.
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