AFP
Last updated: 13 January, 2013

Arab League to press members for Palestinian aid

Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday agreed to form a delegation to visit Arab capitals and ask for help in easing the Palestinian financial crisis, the pan-Arab body said.

The delegation will comprise Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi as well as the foreign ministers of Iraq and Lebanon.

The diplomats will visit Arab countries and press them to fulfill their pledges to provide the Palestinian Authority with $100 million monthly, as agreed during the Arab summit in March last year.

The League also called on the international community to press Israel to release tax revenues.

The government of the West Bank has been mired for months in financial crisis. Last month Palestinian government employees across the West Bank went on strike over unpaid salaries.

The crisis has been aggravated by Israel’s decision to halt the transfer of tax and tariff revenues as punishment after the Palestinians gained upgraded status at the United Nations.

The Arab League has promised the Palestinians a fiscal “safety net” of $100 million (75 million euros), and Palestinians had hoped to receive it during a recent visit by Arabi to Ramallah.