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Arab League Chief To Visit Ramallah To Discuss Aid

A delegation of Arab ministers and high-ranking officials led by Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby will visit Ramallah on Saturday to offer moral support and discuss financial aid for the Palestinian Authority, an Arab League source said on Wednesday.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh are among those heading to the central West Bank city. They will meet briefly with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the source said.

The delegation, according to the source, will congratulate the Palestinian Authority on a successful U.N. status upgrade in the teeth of Israel’s threat to expand settlements last month.

“The Arab delegation’s visit to Ramallah is the first of its kind and will look into various issues, most importantly financial support for the Palestinian Authority in light of Israel’s decision to withhold Palestinian funds,” the source said.

Magdy el-Khaldy, a diplomatic advisor to the Palestinian president, confirmed that the Arab delegation’s visit was expected on Saturday, saying its purpose was to express “solidarity with the Palestinian people … and to get an on-the-ground picture of (their) suffering.”

Israel said earlier this month it would withhold tax revenues from Abbas’s administration until March at least in response to his statehood campaign at the United Nations.Ÿ

King Abdullah of Jordan visited Palestinian leaders in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Dec. 6. (Reporting by Ayman Samir and Ali Sawafta; Writing by Shaimaa Fayed; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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