Ashrawi Gains Support for Palestinians After Meetings with German Officials

Hanan Ashrawi, spokeswoman for the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace talks, received a pledge for Germany’s full support for her cause after meetings here with top-level officials this week.

Germany’s deputy foreign minister, Helmut Schaeffer, who was among those who met with Ashrawi, told her that Bonn shares the Palestinians’ belief that last week’s Israeli election victory by the Labor Party has increased chances for progress in the peace process.

At a news conference at the local office of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Ashrawi expressed satisfaction with Labor’s electoral success and said it encourages the chances for peace.

But she warned that the Palestinians would not be satisfied with limited autonomy and are sticking to their goal of full independence.

Germany’s economics minister, Jurgen Molleman, told Ashrawi that he would discuss with his colleagues in the European Community a Palestinian request for increased financial assistance. The E.C. has already given considerable financial support to the Palestinians for various humanitarian projects in the Israeli-administered territories.

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