EU to continued PA aid; maintain Quartet demands

The European Union is pledging continued financial support for Palestinians while stressing the international community remains united in its demand that an incoming Fatah-Hamas coalition government must recognize Israel's right to exist. The visiting EU external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said there is no discord within the Quartet of Mideast peace makers on its demands of the Palestinians, despite recent signs of divisions. Ferrero-Waldner, who was meeting with Palestinian officials in the West Bank on Wednesday, said the new government "needs to respond to the Quartet principles." In talks with Palestinian and Israeli officials, Ferrero-Waldner has made clear the EU will likely not pull the plug on an emergency aid program that provides relief for some 900,000 Palestinians. "We have never abandoned the Palestinian people," said Ferrero-Waldner and made clear the EU would not do so in the foreseeable future.