The situation in the Middle East was discussed at length in Brussels last week and the European Commission announced that support to the Palestinians would be suspended for security reasons. However, the ministers feel it is important to support the Fatah government, and have therefore agreed to recognise the interim government led by prime minister Salam Fayyad. In his comments on this decision, foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said that everything must be done to prevent the situation in the region from escalating even further. However, the criteria Hamas must meet before further contact is possible remain the same.
During their meeting in Luxembourg on 18 June, the ministers of foreign affairs of the EU member states decided to resume support to the Palestinians.