RAMALLAH, January 30, 2017 (WAFA) –Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Monday expressed hope that Palestine will reach full partnership with the European Union (EU) in the near future, which will make it the fourth Arab country to do so.
Speaking at a meeting for the joint Palestinian-European committee and sub-committees, Hamdallah said the hard work of the committee members will make it possible to reach full partnership with the EU in the coming years.
“Our meeting is for the purpose of preparing the joint partnership agreement with the EU, which in principal has agreed to start working on it after many years of hard work and negotiations,” said Hamdallah.
He said Palestine relies on Europe’s support for the peace process with a goal to end the Israeli occupation and its role in boycotting Israeli settlement goods. He said the EU is the biggest provider of aid to the Palestinians at a time international funding has dropped by about 70 per cent since 2012.
“The EU is a strategic partner, not only in efforts to revive the peace process, but also in building our state and in capacity building of its institutions,” he said.
He explained that despite the financial crisis, the government is still able to cover 85 per cent of its operating expenses from its own resources, while donor countries cover 15 per cent.
“We hope to reach self-sufficiency and financial sustainability by 2019,” said the prime minister.