The European Commission was to sign an agreement Thursday, May 31, providing €60 million ($53 million) in aid to the Palestinian Authority, a spokesman said.
"The funding agreement will be signed with a view to providing direct budget support which will not, as in cases in the recent past, be a loan, but a subsidy," said the commission spokesman.
He said the agreement would be signed by EU External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten and Nabil Shaath, Palestinian minister for planning and international cooperation, prior to a meeting between Palestinian Authority chief Yasser Arafat and EU Commission President Romano Prodi.
A statement said the €60 million would be paid in six monthly installments.
Arafat was in Brussels Thursday for a day of meetings aimed at drumming up support for sending EU observers to the Middle East in a bid to curb Israeli-Palestinian violence, an idea opposed by Israel. ― (AFP, Brussels)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)