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Arab League calling in pledges to fund PA

Dec. 14, 2012 10:08 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 16, 2012 1:44 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Arab League has begun calling in donor pledges to Palestine from its members, but cannot confirm the exact date the so-called Arab safety net will be transferred to the government.

Assistant Secretary General of Palestine Affairs in the Arab League Mohammad Sbeih told Ma’an on Thursday evening that the group had opened communications with Arab states over the $100 million monthly payment promised on Sunday.

Sbeih said they have yet to get official responses, and will send formal communiques to Arab states on Sunday to ascertain their position towards contributions.

The monthly donation from the Arab League will be split according to each member states' contribution to the League budget, Sbeih said.

He said the date of the first payment had yet to be determined.

Some Arab states might decline to contribute due to their own financial problems, he said. Meanwhile, he noted that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia recently transferred funds to the Palestinian Authority, while Egypt donated money for Gaza's electricity bill.

The safety net is meant to cushion the indebted Palestinian Authority government while Israel withholds part of its tax revenues, most recently after Palestine won a membership upgrade at the UN on Nov. 29.
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