Arab League meeting begins, PA funding on agenda

Arab League foreign ministers met in the Algerian capital on Monday, hoping to revive a funding program for the Palestinian Authority as Hamas takes its reins. The meeting of the Arab League committee was aimed at laying the groundwork for a summit next month in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, when a final decision on Palestinian funding was expected. Before the conference began, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika met to discuss other items on the summit agenda, including Iraq, Darfur, Lebanon and Syria. Foreign ministers and other representatives from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen and Algeria were taking part in the meeting to follow up on Arab League commitments made last March. Arab states have urged continued funding for the authority, but it is unclear whether they will fill the gap in foreign aid that makes up most of the Palestinians' $1.9 billion annual budget.