EU says it stands ready to support Abbas

The European Union said Wednesday it stood ready to support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and would decide next week whether to cut off aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government. The EU's aid to the Palestinians - worth hundreds of millions of euros - has been hanging in the balance since Hamas scored its landslide parliamentary election victory on Jan. 25. "The Union will continue to provide support to President Abbas and to the peace program upon which he was elected. The Union is revising its aid programs as far as assisting the Palestinian Authority is concerned," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told the European Parliament. Solana says that until Hamas renounces violence and recognizes Israel, "talking about business as usual simply isn't possible." The EU is expected to decide on Monday at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg whether to continue to finance the Palestinian government. Halting aid could have devastating consequences for the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority.