Abbas to seek major aid package at Islamic summit
Published Sunday 12/08/2012 (updated) 20/08/2012 10:11
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas will present a multi-sector aid plan to lift the Palestinian Authority out of its financial crisis when he addresses the Organization of Islamic Countries this week, a PA minister said Sunday.
The plan "needs hundreds of millions of dollars to be implemented, and we hope that Islamic countries will support us," Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habash told Ma'an.
Abbas will arrive in Saudi Arabia on Sunday afternoon ahead of the two-day extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Countries to start in Mecca on Tuesday.
His address to the summit will be brief, and outline Palestinians concerns including land confiscation, displacement and the Judaization of Jerusalem, al-Habash said. The president will also discuss Palestine's bid for a membership upgrade at the UN and reconciliation efforts of his Fatah party with rivals Hamas.
Abbas will present a plan for support to all sectors of the economy, including industry, agriculture and housing, al-Habash said.
The Ramallah-based government has descended into a worsening financial crisis during 2012.
It was unable to pay full government employee salaries for June until Saudi Arabia pledged $100 million to bolster coffers. July salaries are scheduled to arrive on Monday but high-earners will receive only 70 percent of their wage for the time being.
The PA cites large debts and the failure of donors to deliver aid as prompting the latest crisis.