Monday, December 03, 2007

EU out of Mideast peace deal?

Middle East Times, December 3, 2007

EDITORIAL: One important but little-noticed feature of the Annapolis talks was that the Quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations no longer seems to have much of a role. The Americans have taken over.

"The United States will monitor and judge the fulfillment of the commitment of both sides of the road map," says the joint Israeli-Palestinian document committing them to pursue a peace deal by the end of next year. Note that potent word, "judge."”And note also that while excluding the Russians may be difficult, and excluding the U.N. may be foolish, excluding the EU could carry serious financial consequences.

The EU has long been the main financial supporter for the Palestinians. In 2007, the EU and its 27 member nations gave almost $1.5 billion in mostly humanitarian aid. To help make the Annapolis process work, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the EU should be prepared to raise another $500 million for job-creation projects. But will it?

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