The European Union’s foreign policy chief has pledged continued aid to the Palestinian people on a trip to the Middle East. Javier Solana said officials were still working on ways to allow humanitarian aid to reach the Palestinians while bypassing the Hamas government, which the EU refuses to deal with.
Earlier on Monday, Solana met Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem, where he urged him to avoid any unilaterial steps as part of Israel’s so-called realignement plan to withdraw Jewish settlers from the West Bank. The meeting came a day after Olmert reiterated his country’s commitment to the road map to peace in the Middle East on a visit to Egypt.
On Tuesday, the EU representative will be in Iran where he is expected to present a package of incentives to persuade Tehran to abandon its controversial nuclear programme. The West accuses Iran of enriching uranium with the aim of building an atomic bomb – accusations denied by Tehran, which says its goals are peaceful and claims it needs nuclear fuel to meet its electricity needs.