Fearing Israeli Sanctions, Abbas to Ask Arab League for Economic Aid

Palestinian president will ask Arab foreign ministers convened in Cairo for an economic safety net of $100 million a month.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the closing session of the Arab League Summit at Bayan Palace, Kuwait, March 26, 2014.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the closing session of the Arab League Summit at Bayan Palace, Kuwait, March 26, 2014.Credit: AP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will ask Arab League foreign ministers to provide the Palestinian Authority with an economic safety net of $100 million a month, to help in case Israel imposes sanctions following the breakdown of talks.

Palestinian sources told Haaretz Abbas asked for an urgent meeting on the matter to be held at the Arab League conference in Cairo. Sources added that Gulf states, namely Saudi Arabia, will be responsible for the aid.

Abbas, who arrived in Cairo on Tuesday, is also expected to update the foreign ministers on the latest developments in talks with Israel and the U.S.

Saudi newspaper Okaz reported on Tuesday that the Arab League ministers are not expected to call for an end to talks with Israel, but rather stress that they must be continued according to a set timetable and include "core issues" such as Jerusalem and refugees. The foreign ministers will also call for the fourth release of Palestinian prisoners, which Israel refused to carry out.

On Monday evening, U.S. special envoy Martin Indyk held a second meeting in Jerusalem with the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, less than a day after the previous triumvirate ended in a deadlock following four hours of talks.

London-based Asharq Al-Awsat quoted Palestinian sources as saying that "the Palestinian leadership is open to the idea of extending negotiations, but not at any price."

Meanwhile, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported on Tuesday that President Barack Obama is expected to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry later in the day at the White House, to discuss the Middle East peace process.

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