Responding to the formation of the Palestinian Unity Government and its program, the European Union welcomed the establishment of the eleventh Palestinian cabinet and stated in a declaration released through the EU’s Presidency that the resumption of aid will depend on an assessment of the cabinet’s acceptance of the demands stated by the Middle East Quartet.
Declaration by the Presidency of the EU on the Formation of a Palestinian Government of National Unity
1. The Presidency of the EU welcomes the formation of a Palestinian Government of National Unity pursuant to the agreement reached in Mecca on 8 February 2007, which lays the foundation for Palestinian reconciliation.
2. The Presidency of the EU recalls the readiness of the EU to work with and to resume its assistance to a legitimate Palestinian government adopting a platform reflecting the Quartet principles. The EU will carefully assess the platform and actions of the new government and its ministers.
3. Mindful of the needs of the Palestinian people, the EU is committed to continuing its vital assistance through the Temporary International Mechanism until the financial situation and future needs can be assessed and a more sustainable framework for assistance can be established. The EU calls for the release of Palestinian tax and customs revenues withheld by Israel.
4. The EU urges the Palestinian government to support all efforts for the immediate release of the abducted Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit. It also calls for the immediate release of Palestinian ministers and legislators detained in Israel.
5. The Presidency of the EU is confident that the Palestinian government will support President Abbas in the renewed political process initiated between Israeli and Palestinian leaders with the aim of launching meaningful negotiations leading to an end to the occupation that began in 1967 and to the creation of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.