Summary: March 20, 2003: Chris Patten welcomes appointment of Palestinian Prime Minister and urges implementation of the Roadmap (Brussels)
On 19 March, the European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten welcomes the appointment of a Palestinian Prime Minister. He said : "The creation of a Prime Minister's office with clearly defined powers and responsibilities is an important step in the institution-building and reform process which the international community is supporting. It is also one of the points set out in the Roadmap agreed by the international Quartet (which comprises EU, US, UN and Russia). This Roadmap should now be passed to the parties without further delay and there should be immediate implementation of the other elements of the Roadmap agreed by the Quartet in December last year. The Commission encourages the new Prime Minister to press ahead with the Palestinian reform agenda, particularly in the areas of security, the judiciary, public administration, constitutional issues and preparation of elections. The Commission will continue supporting Palestinian institution building and looks forward to working closely with Mr Mahmoud Abbas and his team. We count on the new Prime Minister to use his influence to support the peace process and combat terrorism."