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Borrell Says EU Will Continue Due Payments to Palestinians

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell delivers his speech during a debate on Russia’s war against Ukraine, at the European Parliament, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022 in Strasbourg, eastern France. InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Commission will not suspend due assistance payments to Palestinians, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday, shortly after the EU neighborhood commissioner announced an end to “all payments.” “The suspension of the payments — punishing all the Palestinian people — would have damaged the EU interests in the region and would have only further emboldened terrorists,” Borrell wrote on social media.The top EU diplomat said that the review of the EU’s assistance for Palestine announced by the commission earlier in the day would not suspend “the due payments, as clarified by the Commission’s press release.” This is despite the commission saying that no due payments were forthcoming. “The Commission will carry out this review as soon as possible… In the meantime, as there were no payments foreseen, there will be no suspension of payments,” the commission said. The EU executive added that the review did not concern humanitarian assistance provided under European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). The announcement by Neighborhood Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi that the EU was freezing all assistance for Palestine drew criticism from several member states, including Spain, Belgium and Ireland. Spanish news agency EFE reported, citing government sources, that acting Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares called Borrell to ask for Palestinian aid payments to be put on the agenda of the EU foreign ministers’ emergency meeting on Tuesday. The Irish Times reported that Ireland was blindsided by Varhelyi’s announcement that appeared on social media. A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs argued that there was no legal basis for this decision and that Ireland was not on board.

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