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EU promises 'unprecedented' aid for Mideast peace

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 16, 2013 at 9:50 a.m.

BRUSSELS — European Union foreign ministers Monday pledged "unprecedented" amounts of political, financial and security support for Israel and the Palestinians if they come to a peace agreement.

In the event of a final peace deal, EU ministers said, the 28-member trade bloc will offer Israel and the future state of Palestine a "special privileged partnership." That will mean increased access to European markets, facilitation of trade and investment, closer cultural and scientific ties and promotion of business-to-business relations. Greater political dialogue and cooperation in the security realm are also foreseen, the ministers said.

At their meeting in Brussels, the ministers proclaimed the EU's readiness to "contribute substantially" to bring about a just and lasting settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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