Erekat: US cannot use aid as blackmail against the PA

After meeting with Arab League chief, Palestinian Authority negotiator says there is no pressure from Arab League nations to abandon UN state bid.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 2, 2011 22:29
1 minute read.
Saeb Erekat

erekat raise the roof REUTERS 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinian Authority appreciates US aid, but that this financial assistance cannot be used as "blackmail," Ma'an News Agency quoted Erekat as saying Sunday.

The PA negotiator, speaking after a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Arabym, said that there was no pressure on the Palestinian Authority from any Arab League members to abandon their plan to gain membership to the United Nations.

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The Arab League on Sunday asked member states to increase financial help to the Palestinians after the US reportedly blocked $200 million in financial aid, AFP reported.

The Arab League's chief called the bolstering of financial aid necessary for the Palestinians to "face this threat."

The United States Congress reportedly blocked the transfer of $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority in what a Palestinian official called "collective punishment" for the PA's bid for membership in the United Nations, UK daily The Independent reported on Saturday.

The unconfirmed report says that an unpublicized block on the transfer of funds, less than one third of the aid sent to the PA annually, has been in place since August.

The United States is opposed to the Palestinian bid to seek full UN membership and has vowed to veto such a move in the Security Council.

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