EU: Efforts to set up PA aid fund making progress

Efforts to set up a new Palestinian fund allowing donors like the European Union to send aid while formally maintaining their boycott of Hamas are close to being finalized, EU officials said Monday. EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said the new fund would be run and managed by Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, who is considered by the EU, the United States and others as a moderate. "There are some technical conditions that still have to be met, which as we see it have not yet been met," Ferrero-Waldner told reporters after EU foreign ministers held talks with Arab League counterparts on ways to revive Middle East peace efforts. She said that Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Abu Amr told the meeting "that positive things are being done" to reform Palestinian finances.