EU worried about financial situation of PA
The EU Monday, February 26, again urged Israel to end its withholding of revenue payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and lift closures, but also said the PA must do its own part toward solvency.
The EU needs to play "an important role in a concerted international effort," said the EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, to keep the Palestinian territories from "economic and institutional collapse."
The EU, they said, would urge the PA to draw up, along with the International Monetary Fund, a "revised, restrictive budget in order to provide the basis for international support."
They urged the Palestinians to take "effective measures against corruption and towards democratic transparency," and to "make full use of the funds available under the existing cash facility in favor of the PA."
The PA, they said, should make its own efforts to set up an international donors conference, to which the EU would "encourage...donors to pledge funding in support of the Palestinian budget." And the council urged "both sides" in the Middle East conflict "to refrain from all acts of violence and return to the negotiation table."
Israel has blocked international payments due to the PA since outbreak of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians last September that has left 419 dead, including 344 Palestinians, 61 Israeli soldiers or Jewish civilians including settlers, 13 Israeli Arabs and one German. — (AFP, Brussels)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)