Skip to main content

Chirac calls for Palestinian aid

French President Jacques Chirac has called for international aid to the Palestinians to continue, despite the recent election victory of Hamas.

Mr Chirac said the World Bank should set up a fund to pay the salaries of Palestinian officials.

It comes after the US and EU cut off direct aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, which is struggling to pay the wages of more than 100,000 workers.

Mr Chirac was speaking after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Washington and the EU define Hamas as a terrorist organisation and say they will not consider relations with a PA under its control unless it renounces violence and recognises Israel.

Escrow account

Following talks with Mr Abbas in Paris, Mr Chirac suggested the World Bank could pay PA officials directly, thereby bypassing Hamas.

The creation of a special account to receive funds intended to pay the salaries could be studied urgently, Mr Chirac's office quoted the president as saying.

Mr Chirac said he would raise the issue with members of the Middle East peace quartet - the EU, US, UN and Russia - at a meeting on 9 May.

The president also called for the continuation of humanitarian and technical aid to the Palestinians "for human and political reasons".

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Iran: A Rummy Guide

To borrow a phrase used for Iraq, there are 'things we now know we don't know.'Back in June 2002, as the Bush administration started pushing hard for war with Iraq by focusing on fears of the unknown—terrorists and weapons of mass destruction—Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld explained that when it came to gathering intelligence on such threats, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Elaborating, Rumsfeld told a news conference: "There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know."Now there's a crisis brewing with Iran. And the same basic problem applies: what is known, what is suspected, what can be only guessed or imagined? Is danger clear and present or vague and distant? Washington is abuzz now, as it was four years ago, with "sources" talking of sanctions…