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E.U.: qualified support for P.A. gov’t

The European Union expressed support for the Palestinian
Authority national unity government while restating the conditions for it to
receive assistance.

The E.U. was “ready to work with a legitimate
Palestinian government” that recognizes Israel,
renounces terrorism and abides by past agreements, according to a statement
released Friday after a two day summit in Brussels.

Israel
and the United States
believe the national unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas, a terrorist group
that rejects Israel’s
existence, achieved last month in Mecca,
falls well short of those standards; the agreement only “respects”
earlier agreements.

European leaders were more positive about the
agreement, however, while acknowledging that it was insufficient. “The Mecca agreement opens the way and we hope it will lead to
understanding, peace and stability,” said French President Jacques Chirac.
“We can only approve of it.”

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