EU to provide "unprecedented" support for Israel, Palestine if peace deal reached
The European announced Monday that it is ready to provide "unprecedented" levels of support to Israel and Palestine if both parties manage to finalize a peace deal during the current negotiations, according to Agence France-Presse Tuesday.
"The EU will provide an unprecedented package of European political, economic and security support to both parties in the context of a final status agreement," two EU foreign ministers said in a statement.
The ministers elaborated, saying that the EU will "offer Israel and the future state of Palestine a Special Privileged Partnership including increased access to the European markets, closer cultural and scientific links, facilitation of trade and investments and business-to-business engagement that will help strengthen and expand the economies of Israel and of a future Palestinian state."
The US State Department, led by Secretary John Kerry who originally helped to renew the talks back in July, described the EU announcement as making the future for Israelis and Palestinians "even brighter."
However, the statement did not offer monetary estimates of what a proposed support package might entail, with one EU official specifically saying it was "too early" to talk about exact figures.
The negotiation process has been on shaky ground in recent months, with the Palestinian delegation threatening to resign at one point earlier this year. However, Kerry said this weekend that "concrete progress has been made" in the talks despite such setbacks.