Peres hails US, EU embargo on PA gov't

By AP, JPOST.COM STAFF
March 20, 2007 04:14

Palestinians will still receive limited direct aid for another three months.

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Israel on Tuesday expressed satisfaction with the US and European Union's Monday night decision to uphold the financial boycott of the new Palestinian Authority unity government. In an interview with Army Radio, Vice Premier Shimon Peres said that "anyone who wants to hold talks with the Palestinians must advise them not to make terror errors." He added that anyone who believed that talks were possible while the PA continued to support terror was "deceiving himself and the entire world."

  • Q&A with Shimon Peres
  • UN chief expresses reservations about PA gov't
  • An imaginary announcement (op-ed) The United States and the European Union announced Monday night that the economic embargo will continue to be imposed on the Palestinian Authority, despite the recent formation of a PA unity government. Nevertheless, EU representatives and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice decided at the end of Monday's meeting in Washington that the EU would continue to provide limited direct aid to Palestinians for three months. Rice went on to say that PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh must explain the speech he delivered when the new government was sworn in on Saturday, in which he referred to the Palestinians' "right of resistance." "It doesn't sound very good to me when he talks about all forms of resistance. So I'll put the question to him. When you say all forms of resistance, do you include violence?" Rice told reporters in Washington. EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said that he was eagerly waiting to see what the actions of the new government would be. "Their actions are much more important than their words at the moment." said Solana. Earlier Monday, representatives of the quartet - the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia - agreed in a telephone discussion to wait and see whether the new government conformed to the Quartet's demands before deciding how to react, the EU's external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Walder, said. In an interview in Washington late Monday, Ferrero-Walder said the quartet had reached common positions in its first discussions since the formation of the new PA governing coalition. Ferrero-Walder called the government's formation a step forward for Palestinian reconciliation. The quartet was expected to release a statement Tuesday outlining their agreements during the Monday conference call. Ferrero-Walder, who was in Washington with other EU officials to meet with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She did not elaborate on specific points of agreement. "I've always said that we would be ready to work with those who seek peace by peaceful means," Ferrero-Walder said. "The quartet has today confirmed what I always also repeated, that we will have to judge the government by its words and also by its action." The quartet demands that any Palestinian government recognize Israel, commit to nonviolence and accept existing agreements with Israel as a condition for lifting a financial aid embargo that has crippled the Palestinian government since Hamas won control of the cabinet and legislature in elections last year.


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