EU commissioner pens $25 million deal for PA rule of law
Published Sunday 08/07/2012 (updated) 11/07/2012 13:01
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad walks with European
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso as they review an honor
guard at the Palestine College for Police Sciences in the West Bank city
of Jericho on July 8, 2012. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, on a visit to the West Bank on Sunday, signed a 20 million euro ($25 million) funding deal for rule of law and justice projects.
After meeting Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah, Barroso lauded the PA's institution-building work, stressing the EU's commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel.
He also welcomed the reconciliation process between Fatah, which dominates the West Bank government, and Gaza rulers Hamas, calling it a "key factor contributing to the unity of a future Palestinian State."
Barroso and Fayyad later attended the opening of the Palestine College for Police Sciences in Jericho, which will train Palestinian civil police.
Fayyad praised the work of Palestinian police, noting that they are essential to providing security for citizens and protecting the Palestinian national project.
Thanking the EU for its financial support, as the top donor to the PA, Fayyad signed an agreement with Barroso for rule of law projects in the West Bank.
The support will help support the building of eight police stations throughout the country, a prison in Jenin, and higher education in law, as well as civil society monitoring the security sector.
Last week, the EU mission that has been training Palestinian police since 2006 told Ma'an it was as "concerned" at reports of the use of excessive force by police against protesters in Ramallah, stressing the importance of the rule of law.
Police forcefully dispersed a protest against negotiations with Israel in Ramallah the previous Saturday, and violently suppressed another demonstration against police brutality on Sunday.
The PA pledged to launch an investigation and punish the perpetrators.