Europe to give 5 mn dlrs in aid to Palestinian presidency

Five European countries and the European Commission signed an accord on Friday under which they will give 5.2 million dollars for administrative reforms within the Palestinian presidency.

Europe to give 5 mn dlrs in aid to Palestinian presidency
Five European countries and the European Commission signed an accord on Friday under which they will give 5.2 million dollars for administrative reforms within the Palestinian presidency.

The agreement was signed at president Mahmud Abbas's office by his chief of staff, Rafiq al-Husseini, and representatives from Britain, Denmark, Italy, Norway and Sweden.

"This aid will allow us to improve the work, the performance and the running of the presidency," Husseini said after the signing.

The European Union, the biggest aid donor to the Palestinians, imposed an embargo on direct aid to the Palestinian Authority last year along with the United States after the Hamas formed a cabinet alone.

The EU and the US have declined to lift the embargo following the formation of a national unity government on March 17 between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah.

Norway, which is not part of the 27-member bloc, has recognised the new cabinet and pledged to resume direct aid, but the EU has said it would continue to channel donor funds via mechanisms that bypass the government.

The international relief agency Oxfam on Friday urged the EU to lift the suspension of aid to the Palestinian government.

"Europe's foreign ministers should not miss the opportunity of their forthcoming meeting ... to restore the faith of Palestinians in the European Union," Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs said.

The ministers are due to hold their talks on April 23 and 24 in Luxembourg.

"The resumption of international aid to the Palestinian Authority is a necessary step to preventing further suffering and securing a just and lasting settlement on the basis of international law," said Hobbs.
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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