EU to hold meetings next week on new PA aid fund

The European Union will host a meeting with the United States, United Nations, Russia and the World Bank later this month to seek ways to channel financial aid to the Palestinians and bypass the Hamas government, officials said Wednesday. The European Commission will also meet representatives of EU member states in Brussels next week to hammer out the technical details of the planned international funding mechanism, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said. She said the money was likely to be administered by a temporary body that would channel it to Palestinians, and that the EU would use Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a liaison with the Palestinians, so that it could avoid dealing directly with the Hamas government. It was not yet clear where the body would be based.