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US says EU-proposed Palestinian aid plan promising

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, June 16 (Reuters) The United States said an EU-proposed plan for international aid for Palestinians that bypasses the Hamas-led government showed promise but withheld its final support to allow more talks on the scheme today.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters international powers mediating in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had made progress toward agreeing on a way to provide aid to Palestinians.

But he said the United States was not ready to give its final support to an EU proposal and that envoys from the mediators, the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union, would meet later today to hold further talks.

The EU said today it is close to winning the mediators' support for a plan that covers essential supplies to the health sector and payments to health-care services providers, utilities including fuel. It also includes cash allowances to cover the basic needs of the poorest sections of the population.

Both the EU and the United States suspended aid to the Palestinian Authority when Islamic militant group Hamas refused to recognize Israel and failed to renounce violence, but they recognized last month an emergency plan was needed to prevent the Palestinian territories sliding into chaos.

REUTERS MP PM2322

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