US welcomes EU choice to provide PA financial aid

The United States welcomed a decision by the European Union on Monday to grant $143 million in urgent aid for the Palestinians before a government takes office led by Hamas. "It is a sign that we are all working together," said State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talked to senior EU officials Sunday, the spokesman said. "We are all working together to prevent a collapse of the interim PA government and to support the Palestinian people," Ereli said. The Bush administration, which is not providing assistance to the Palestinian Authority this year, is due to announce shortly whether it will contribute to Palestinian projects. Ereli said Rice and others in the quartet have clear the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians will not be neglected whatever government they have.