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Palestinians seek political, financial support from Baghdad Arab summit

Monday March 26, 2012 09:12:12 AM, IANS

Ramallah: The Palestinian leadership is looking forward to gain declarations of full Arab political and financial support for their cause in the Arab League annual summit due to be held in Baghdad March 29, a senior Palestinian official said Sunday.

Despite the concerns that the Arab summit this year will be more involved in discussing the outcomes of the Arab revolutions, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Xinhua that President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to chair the senior Palestinian delegation that will attend the summit.

"We hope that the agenda of the summit will also tackle the activation of the previous summits' decisions related to the Palestinian cause, mainly the ones related to the stalled peace process and to the ongoing Israeli policies that are expected to escalate in the coming future," said Erekat.

He stressed that the Palestinian leadership has been always keen to empower coordination "with all our Arab brothers in the Arab world," adding "We are always looking forward to gain bigger political and financial support in this "critical and difficult stage" the Palestinian cause is passing through."

"On the tops of our demands from Baghdad summit is to back the diplomatic efforts that aim at reinforcing the position of Palestine in the map of the world's geography, through our applying to the United Nations organizations to face the Israeli stubbornness that blocks a new peace process," said Erekat.

However, other Palestinian leaders expressedless optimism towards the decisions that Baghdad summit would come up with. Hana Amira, an official in Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said the Palestinians are not so optimistic that the summit would give them what they need.

"It is obvious that there is no big optimism towards Baghdad summit due to the recent dramatic developments in various Arab countries and the consequences of the Arab revolutions, mainly in Syria that would be heavily discussed during in the summit's agenda," Amira told Xinhua.

He stressed that the Palestinians "are in need this time for a greater Arab support because the Palestinians are passing through a crucial situation and they need powerful political and financial Arab support in order to be able to confront the Israeli occupation and its policies."

"It is very important for the Palestinians to gain full Arab support, mainly a political one in order to be able to go to the United Nations organisations and gain full membership of the state of Palestine, and this would certainly need string Arab pressure on America and Israel," said Amira.

Meanwhile, prime minister of the care-taker Palestinian government in the West Bank Salam Fayyad told reporters in Ramallah Saturday that all what the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) had got of Arab aid this year was $30 million only, that was paid by Qatar.

"The previous Arab summit had pledged $283 million to be paid to the Palestinians in the year 2011," Fayyad said,

The permanent members of the Arab League Thursday met in Cairo to prepare for the summit.

Ahmaed Ben Helli, deputy chief of the Arab League told a news conference after the meeting that the Baghdad summit has ten basic chapters to be discussed in the two-day meet, that includes the situation in Syria, Yemen, the Palestinian cause and the Arab-Israeli conflicts.

The last Arab summit, held in October 2010 in the Libyan town of Sirte, called on Arab states to aid the PNA budget with $330 million, based on paying monthly around $55 million to support the Palestinians.






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