Abbas struggles to raise funds for PA

PA Chairman asks president of Indonesia to convince EU to restore aid.

abbas pondering 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
abbas pondering 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas asked the leader Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, to help convince the West to continue aid to his Hamas-led government, an Indonesian official said Saturday. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, after receiving a letter delivered by an envoy of the moderate Palestinian leader, said he would do what he could to help, according to presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal. Israel, the US and European Union have cut off much of the funding that has kept the Palestinian Authority afloat, calling Hamas a terror organization and refusing to deal with the new government. Palestinian envoy Nabil Shaad briefed Yudhoyono in the Indonesian capital on the latest developments in the Middle East after delivering Abbas' letter seeking help in winning back funding, Djalal said. Abbas, who is currently visiting Jordan, also met with the Spanish foreign minister Saturday to appeal for resumed European financial aid to the Palestinians. Few details emerged about Abbas's talks with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, which were held behind closed doors in a Palestinian guest house in the Jordanian capital Amman. Palestinian chief of mission Atta Khairy said before the talks opened that Abbas would renew his plea for resumed aid to the Palestinians, but declined to provide other details. No other information was immediately available. Abbas arrived in Jordan late Friday at the start of a tour that is expected to also take him to Turkey, Norway, Finland and France. He was scheduled to hold a separate meeting later Saturday with Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit, whose government shunned the Palestinian Hamas foreign minister earlier this week, abruptly canceling his visit after accusing his militant group of stockpiling weapons and surveying potential targets in the kingdom.