France offers help to reform Palestiniansecurity forces

22nd June 2004, Comments 0 comments

AMMAN, June 22 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier held talks here Tuesday with King Abdullah II and his Jordanian counterpart on how Europe, Egypt and Jordan could bolster security after a planned Israeli pullback from the Palestinian territories.

AMMAN, June 22 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier held talks here Tuesday with King Abdullah II and his Jordanian counterpart on how Europe, Egypt and Jordan could bolster security after a planned Israeli pullback from the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian Authority must reorganise its security services to make them more efficient and can count on the help of several European countries, Barnier said at a joint news conference with Jordan's Foreign Minister Marwan Moasher.

"This (reorganisation) is part of the reforms that must be undertaken by the Palestinian Authority," he said.

"The Palestinian Authority can count on the cooperation, the support of different partners," he said, including "Egypt, Jordan and several countries of the European Union".

Moasher said Jordan's decision to take on security responsibilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would depend on the outcome of talks between Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians.

"We will wait for the results of the discussions which are underway between Egypt, Israel and the Palestinians to be sure that the conditions allow us to take part in this," he said.

Their remarks came as 10 radical Palestinian factions said they were opposed to Egypt and Jordan taking any security role in the Palestinian territories after an Israeli pullout from Gaza and four remote West Bank settlements.

"The Palestinian people are part and parcel of the Arab nation, and cannot accept the logic of tutelage and marginalisation instead of participating in joint work" with Arab countries, a statement posted on the Hamas website said.

Barnier, who arrived late Monday in Jordan from Egypt, also met King Abdullah to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the situationin Iraq ahead of the June 30 handover of sovereignty by the US-led coalition.
They insisted that the Iraqi people must "assume full sovereignty across their territory"

and agreed that an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza must be made "within the framework of the roadmap" peace blueprint, a court official said.

Barnier left for Paris in mid-afternoon.

He is expected to meet Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah on June 29-30 and also visit Israel at an unspecified date.


© AFP

Subject: French news

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