June 19th, 2006 05:05 EST
Quartet Endorses Mechanism To Give Palestinians Needs-Based Aid By Peggy B. Hu
Washington -- The United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations -- jointly known as the Quartet when dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- have endorsed a European Union proposal for a temporary mechanism to provide needs-based assistance to the Palestinian people, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of State June 17.
According to the statement, the mechanism would help provide essential equipment, supplies and support for health services; support for the uninterrupted supply of fuel and utilities; and basic needs allowances to poor Palestinians. The Quartet would review the continued need for such a mechanism after three months.
The Quartet hopes that other donors, international organizations and Israel would consider participating, the statement says. "Donors are also encouraged to respond to humanitarian and other assistance requests by international organizations, especially UN agencies, active in the West Bank and Gaza." (See related article.)
The Quartet reiterated its call for the Palestinian Authority government "to commit to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap," the statement says. The Palestinian Authority government also "must fulfill its responsibilities with respect to basic human needs, including health services, as well as for proper fiscal management and provision of services."
For more information on U.S. policies, see The Middle East: A Vision for the Future.
The text of the statement is available on the State Department Web site.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)