BELGRADE, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The European Union welcomed on Tuesday the positive developments between the Burundian government and the rebel PALIPEHUTU-National Liberation Forces (FNL), hoping that peace will prevail to speed up the country's economy.
"The European Union welcomes the return of the delegation of PALIPEHUTU FNL negotiators to Burundi, and the resumption of the work of the joint verification and monitoring mechanism," a statement from the Slovenian EU Presidency said.
The Presidency saw the return to Burundi of the leader of PALIPEHUTU FNL, Agathon Rwasa, as a sign of "a definitive stage in the establishment of civil peace in Burundi and will allow the vital economic and social development of the country to be speeded up."
"It particularly welcomes the signing of the ceasefire on 25 May 2008 between the Burundian Government and PALIPEHUTU FNL," the statement added.
The Presidency promised to provide rapid assistance to the PALIPEHUTU FNL combatants who made an appeal for food supplies as soon as possible.
The EU also congratulated the Regional Initiative of South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda for the achievements, pledging continued support in the country's reconciliation and reconstruction efforts.
The European Union hoped that "this new context will create the conditions necessary for Burundi's political institutions to be able to work constructively to improve the living conditions of the Burundian people."