EU Denies Reducing Aid to Palestine

Brussel, MINA – European Union (EU) on February 22, denied reports that it threatened to reduce aid provided to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it did not hold elections.

“We are shocked by what is being reported in some media, there is no comment or statement from the European Union on this matter,” said Shadi Othman, spokesman for the European Union in Palestine, in a written statement received by Anadolu Agency.

The Israeli Official Broacaster Kan said, European officials had sent a message to PA President Mahmoud Abbas stating that if parliamentary elections scheduled for May were canceled, European support for the authority, estimated at € 600 million (US$ 728 million), would be cut or reduced.

Hussein Al-Sheikh, The Head of the Civil Affairs Authority and Member of the Fatah Central Committee, denied the reports.

“All the reported European and other threats are baseless, and intrusive,” he said via Twitter.

“Palestine general election is Palestine par excellence decision, and from Palestine nation important, to strengthen the democratic approach with the participation of all Palestinians to perpetuate the legitimacy of the fund,” he added.

Palestine election schedule to take place in three stages, the legislature on May 22, the president on July 31 and the National Council on August 31 this year.

Since 2008, assistance provided by EU countries to the Palestinian Authority has totaled around € 2.8 billion (US$ 3.4 billion).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)