EU: New Palestinian government must comply

19th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 March 2007, Berlin (dpa) - The European Union is prepared to cooperate with the Palestinian national unity government on condition that it complies with the requirements laid down by the Middle East Quartet, the German government said Monday.

19 March 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The European Union is prepared to cooperate with the Palestinian national unity government on condition that it complies with the requirements laid down by the Middle East Quartet, the German government said Monday.

'The EU is prepared to cooperate with the Palestinian government of national unity insofar as it reflects the Quartet criteria in its statements and its actions,' German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said.

Germany currently holds the six-month rotating EU presidency.

The Quartet - the EU, the United States, the United Nations and Russia - has stipulated that a Palestinian government must acknowledge Israel's right to exist, renounce violence and acknowledge previous international agreements.

In response to a journalist's question, Jaeger said there was no 'contact bar' on talks with the Palestinians, adding that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in regular contact with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

'We believe we should approach this issue calmly and observe how the new government acts in the days and weeks ahead,' Jaeger said.

The Quartet was to discuss the issue by telephone during the course of Monday, he said.

The new Palestinian government would be on the agenda of an informal EU foreign ministers' meeting at the end of March, Jaeger said. 'We will take stock at that point.'

DPA

Subject: German news

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