EU vows to work for peace with Abbas, PA moderates

The EU pledged to work with Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and other moderates in the Palestinian leadership to support a renewed Arab peace initiative that Europeans see as a hopeful sign in the Middle East peace process, officials said Saturday. EU foreign ministers ended a two-day meeting determined "to stay fully engaged" in the search for Mideast peace, said Cristina Gallach, the spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana. She said the EU sees an initiative this week by the Arab League to relaunch a 2002 Arab peace initiative as a sign of new momentum in the comatose peace process. The EU ministers, meeting in Bremen, also agreed to keep in place, for now, an ad-hoc aid scheme, overseen by the World Bank, that in the past year has funneled hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) directly to poor Palestinians - bypassing the previous Palestinian government led by Hamas.