The European Union agreed to grant a $143 million emergency package to the Palestinian Authority in order to pay its bills for two months, however the Union remained undecided about future payments.
"The 120 million [euro] are there … We want to meet the challenges of the Palestinian people," said EU External relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Meanwhile, the EU condemned the kidnapping of foreign workers in the Palestinian territories which came in response to the British and American involvement in the Israeli offensive at Jericho jail on Tuesday in which three Palestinians were killed, around 35 injured and over 200 arrested, including Palestinian-elected Parliament member, Ahmad Sa’adaat, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
At least 10 internationals were kidnapped by Palestinians on Tuesday.
Abbas cut his visit and cancelled a meeting scheduled with the French President Jaques Chirac, and a visit to Egypt and Jordan after the Israeli violence in Jericho.
In his meeting with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel and other Austrian leaders in Vienna, Abbas urged the EU not to stop its aid, suggesting that doing so would be interpreted as punishment for voters who chose Hamas.
Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian legislature in the elections held on January 25, while Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party came second.
In Strasbourg, Ferrero-Waldner said that the EU would "leave the door open" to the continuation of financing to the Palestinian Authority, but reiterated that any long-term EU aid would depend on how the Hamas-led government would act. She urged Abbas to put pressure on Hamas to "seek peace by peaceful means."
"He is making every effort to achieve this, but we are not yet there. But we think the president has another two weeks to continue the negotiations," she said.
Earlier, a senior European Parliament member said he believed that the EU may be able to continue with direct aid to the Palestinians even after Hamas forms a government.