Palestinian President Abbas Flies to Germany for Medical Checkup

Reuters
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, January 2020.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, January 2020.Credit: Majdi Mohammed
Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas flew to Germany on Monday for a medical checkup, Palestinian officials said.

Abbas, 85, has long been in poor health and was admitted to hospital with pneumonia in 2018. A heavy smoker, he was also treated in a U.S. hospital the same year during a trip to address the UN Security Council.

Abbas flew by Jordanian helicopter from his Ramallah headquarters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to Amman, where he made a brief comment on the placing of Jordanian King Abdullah's half-brother under house arrest.

"When these events occurred, we saw the whole world, without exception, standing by Jordan and by His Majesty, and this is evidence of the great respect and great interest in this peaceful and secure country," Abbas said in televised remarks.

His comments were broadcast by the official Palestinian TV channel.

Palestinian political and security affairs are heavily intertwined with neighbouring Jordan, where more than 2 million registered Palestinian refugees live. Jordan's Hashemite ruling family is also the custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in East Jerusalem.

In January, Abbas called presidential and parliamentary elections for later this year in what was widely seen as attempt to restore his democratic mandate and reset relations with Washington.

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