Saudi King Abdullah 311 Reuters.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Saudi Arabia will pay $200 million to the Palestinian Authority, the official Palestinian news agency said on Monday, funds that will ease a financial crisis faced by the authority as it prepares to apply for full UN membership this week.
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Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf called Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to tell him his government would transfer the funds, the WAFA agency reported.
A shortfall in funding from Arab states including Saudi Arabia had been identified as the cause of the crisis which has highlighted the authority's vulnerability as PA President Mahmoud Abbas prepares to press the Palestinians' statehood agenda at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
Last week, both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank identified the authority's financial crisis
as a danger to the state-building program which Fayyad's administration has led over the last two years.
In the last three months, the authority has twice failed to pay salaries to its 150,000 employees on time and in full.
The success of the state-building plan was one of the reasons cited by
Palestinian officials for their decision to go to the United Nations,
despite US and Israeli opposition.
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The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self government in
parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, remains reliant on foreign aid
to fill a deficit projected at $900 million this year.
WAFA said Alassaf called Fayyad while the Palestinian prime minister was
on his way back to the Middle East from New York, where he had attended
a meeting of international donors which support the Palestinian
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