An international meeting in Brussels ended with donors agreeing to move forward with a plan to provide aid to the Palestinians. “There was a concurrence on the fact something needs to be done; that this is a commitment by the Quartet that extends to other donors who have agreed they are interested to participate,” according to Marc Otte, who represents the European Union in the Quartet. The donors discussed the proposals from the European Commission, which recommended disbursing tens of millions of dollars per month to pay doctors, nurses and teachers as well as cover health and education costs. A European Union diplomat said the commission secured a mandate to present a more detailed plan in the next two weeks. The commission hopes to see the mechanism operational by the end of June but the plan, Otte added, “depends a lot on the donors,” which remain in disagreement over the scope – France wants funding for health and education while Britain prefers that assistance be restricted to health, at least in the beginning. “I think it’s reasonable, if we keep to the calendar, to have at least an agreement by then, and hopefully the commitments, but as for the first delivery of money, I can’t give a date,” Otte continued.
Source: Donors agree to move ahead on Palestinian plan (Reuters)