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Official: Arab League chief to visit Palestine

Dec. 21, 2012 10:02 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 26, 2012 9:12 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi will visit Palestine on Dec. 29 to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister said Friday.

Riyad al-Malki said al-Arabi would discuss the financial safety net pledged by the Arab League to the Palestinian Authority to ease the West Bank government's financial crisis.

The League has yet to deliver the pledged money, forcing banks to lend the PA $100 million to pay November salaries to public sector employees. The PA says the short-term loan will be repaid when money arrives from Arab countries.

Al-Arabi will update Abbas on regional contributors to the fund, al-Malki told Ma'an.

Al-Malki said the Arab League chief and Abbas would discuss Palestine's next steps following its admission as a non-member state to the UN, a move that prompted Israel to withhold the PA's revenue, exacerbating the fiscal crisis.

The officials will also talk about a decision by the Arab League follow-up committee to send ministerial delegations for consultations with the UN Security Council to end Israeli settlement expansion and release Palestinian prisoners of Israel.

Arab foreign ministers will accompany al-Arabi on the one-day visit, al-Malki said.
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