The European Union says it will offer Iraq financial and logistical assistance as part of international efforts to help prepare the country for January elections.

EU foreign ministers meeting Tuesday in Brussels said leaders of the 25-member bloc will discuss ways to help when they meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi during an EU summit in the Belgian capital Friday. 

In addition, the ministers urged Israel to acknowledge that Palestinian government institutions are up and running despite the hospitalization in France of Yasser Arafat.

Participants also met with incoming European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to review his efforts to put together a new team for the EU top executive body.

This week's EU summit comes ahead of the November 11th meeting in The Hague between top EU leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.