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EU vows 'unprecedented' aid if Israel, Palestinians make peace
Published Tuesday 17/12/2013 (updated) 18/12/2013 18:03
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Snow covers the area next to a section of Israel's separation barrier
in the West Bank village of Al-Ram on the outskirts of Jerusalem on
Dec. 14, 2013 (AFP/File Ahmad Gharabli)
BRUSSELS (AFP) -- The European Union on Monday pledged "unprecedented" levels of support to both Israel and the Palestinians should the two parties reach a final status agreement.

Commending US Secretary of State John Kerry for his efforts in launching direct talks between the two, EU foreign ministers said the 28-nation bloc would "contribute substantially" to post-conflict arrangements to ensure the sustainability of a peace deal.

"The EU will provide an unprecedented package of European political, economic and security support to both parties in the context of a final status agreement," the ministers said in a statement.

"In the event of a final peace agreement the European Union will offer Israel and the future state of Palestine a Special Privileged Partnership including increased access to the European markets, closer cultural and scientific links, facilitation of trade and investments as well as promotion of business to business relations.

"Enhanced political dialogue and security cooperation will also be offered to both states," the statement added.

The US State Department welcomed the announcement saying it made the future for Israel and the Palestinians "even brighter."

"Secretary Kerry has made clear how important it is for Israelis and Palestinians alike to envision the benefits that peace will bring," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

"The vision of increased access to European markets, closer cultural and scientific links, facilitation of trade and investments and business-to-business engagement will help strengthen and expand the economies of Israel and of a future Palestinian state."

A senior EU official said it was too early to talk about numbers after Israeli daily Haaretz last week said the package would be worth "billions of euros" while also helping to end Israel's international isolation.

Kerry said this weekend that concrete progress has been made in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, but said details will be kept under wraps.

Calling on both sides to seize the chance to reach a two-state solution, the EU ministers also warned against "actions that undermine the negotiations," in particular deploring Israel's continuous expansion of settlements.

Last month Israel agreed to join an EU scientific research project despite the fact it bars funding for any Israeli entity with operations beyond the 1967 Green Line.
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1 ) southparkbear / usa
17/12/2013 13:42
thanks but no thanks. keep the EU money and home. help your PIIGS instead

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
17/12/2013 15:22
The zionist EU (where I live, G-d forgive me) most stop blackmailing people in need. Don't play the fool.

3 ) Carol Scheller / Palestine
17/12/2013 15:55
Palestinians do not want aid : they want their rights. The EU needs to bring financial pressure on Israel to end the occupation. It would save the EU a lot of money, too !

4 ) Carlos / usa
18/12/2013 20:14
I like Carol Scheller comment! To israeli trash spreaders, I boycott all israeli products. I make sure my family and friends know what I boycott and I offer them tips. We will put the pressure on israel, just like boycotts and sanctions broke South African aparthied, so will israels aparthied be broken.

5 ) Jim / USA
19/12/2013 12:43
@3) What "occupation"? You must be confusing occupation with blockade and military control. Neither Gaza nor West Bank are occupied. They are both self-governing entities dwelling on disputed territories. Because of their militancy, violence and terror, the sovereign State of Israel had to impose blockade and military control on both for the safety and security of its citizens. Gaza has been disengaged unilaterally, and there is a tall wall separating Israel and the PA for obvious reasons.

6 ) Outlier / USA
19/12/2013 19:08
Let's see if Palestinians reach a peace agreement with Israel and then turn down the EU money on principle. Make no mistake, they will take the money.

7 ) @ Carol-3 / Honesty
20/12/2013 16:49
The "Palestinians want their rights" to continue
Abducting, Murdering, and Terrorizing Jews (& others),
until they are given things to which JEWS HAVE RIGHTS.
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