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EU Envoy tell PNN: No One Ready to Compensate Withheld Palestinian Funds, Urges Immediate Action for Peace Process

Posted On: 05-06-2024 | Politics , Nonviolence
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Ramallah / PNN / Wisal Abu-Alia 

The European Union's envoy for the Middle East peace process, Sven Koopmans, confirmed that no one is ready to pay the Palestinian Authority in place of the funds withheld by the occupation government, nor to compensate for the halted Arab and American financial contributions.

In response to a question from a PNN correspondent during a meeting with a group of journalists in Ramallah, Koopmans stated that the EU's position on cutting financial support to the Authority is clear and considers it a major mistake, as it prevents the government from providing services and meeting its obligations, including salaries.

The European envoy emphasized that this position was made clear to the occupation authorities in high-level meetings a few days ago, and they were warned that the collapse of the Authority would have negative consequences for both parties.

Koopmans added that Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mustafa presented a reform plan during a donors' meeting held a few days ago in Brussels, which is excellent and should be built upon.

Regarding the EU's contributions to the Palestinian Authority, Koopmans confirmed that 25 million euros have been transferred to the Authority, and another 16 million euros to UNRWA as part of a larger package this time for the UN agency.

He reiterated the urgent need for a serious peace process leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state, expressing the EU's conviction that the two-state solution must be implemented as soon as possible. The EU and the international community believe that failing to achieve this leads to insecurity in the entire region, not to mention the issues of Iran and Hezbollah, stressing that the situation cannot continue as before after all these developments.

Koopmans pointed out that there is an international conviction of the necessity of the existence and recognition of a Palestinian state, emphasizing that the goal of the peace process is a free Palestinian state alongside Israel, with a focus on the final objective rather than interim steps, referring to incomplete peace plans.

He considered it important to initially outline what the presence of a Palestinian state alongside Israel would mean, indicating that he is not currently focusing on agreements with Arab states on this issue, but the EU supports any approach in this regard that leads to a result.

Regarding the imposition of sanctions on Israeli settlers, Koopmans stated that the EU has imposed sanctions on four settlers and entities as a start, due to the expanding terrorism and violence of settlers. He mentioned his visit to one of the areas classified as Area C yesterday, where he saw a Bedouin family surrounded by settlements and witnessed how the family members are terrorized by settlers. He stressed that more significant efforts are needed to stop this, given that the settlements are illegal.

Koopmans said that terrorism must be confronted in all its forms, and for the EU, it does not matter who the terrorist is or their nationality, stating that a terrorist is someone who engages in terrorism. He expressed the EU's readiness to impose sanctions on individuals in the occupation state rather than on the state itself, adding that EU foreign

ministers, in their meeting last week, requested a high-level meeting with the occupation government to discuss these issues.

Regarding the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, Koopmans said that the bloodshed and destruction in the Strip are unacceptable, and the inability of people to access humanitarian aid and the starvation they are facing are also unacceptable. He confirmed the EU's opposition, along with other countries, to the invasion of Rafah.

Koopmans added that the EU is a significant political entity concerned with the safety of Palestinians and its relationship with Israel. He affirmed that the EU is an international partner that contributes to important issues, but it is not a controlling power.

Koopmans expressed the EU's approach, which involves fostering relationships and focusing on them rather than severing ties, indicating that the EU discusses the partnership agreement with Israel within its relationship framework, not outside of it.

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