• search

Palestinians to tell Arabs they need 130 mln dollars month

Written by: Staff
|

KHARTOUM, Mar 25 (Reuters) The Palestinian Authority will tell an Arab summit it needs at least 130 million dollars a month to cover its budget if the West cuts off aid when the Islamist group Hamas takes office, Economy Minister Mazen Sonnoqrot said.

But Algerian Minister of State Abdelaziz Belkhadem said the Arabs had not yet agreed to go above their previous commitment to give the Palestinian Authority 50 million dollars a month.

''There's no increase now but we are hearing about the situation in Palestine,'' he told Reuters yesterday night.

Arab foreign ministers, who start a two-day meeting in the udanese capital Khartoum today, will discuss a draft resolution confirming their old commitment, he added.

''We're eager to make sure that there is at least the minimum (of Arab aid) but there's no increase,'' Belkhadem said.

In practice many Arab governments have not met their commitments to the Palestinians and donors such as the European Union have covered most of the budget shortfall.

But since Hamas won parliamentary elections in January, the United States and Europe have started to review all their aid to the Palestinians. They call Hamas a terrorist group.

Sonnoqrot said the Palestinian Authority already faced an economic crisis and many government employees had not received their salaries for February.

''We've asked them (the Arab governments) to increase the subsidy to the Palestinian Authority, for those of them that have the means,'' he told Reuters yesterday night.

Salaries alone cost the Palestinian Authority 108 million dollars a month, plus 7 million dollars a month in welfare payments and 25 million dollars a month in the running costs of government departments.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Wednesday he expected the Arab summit, which takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, to make specific commitments to help a Hamas government.

But Arab diplomats have said it is not yet clear if the Arab leaders will go beyond their old commitment.

REUTERS CH RK1400

For Daily Alerts

For Breaking News from Oneindia
Get instant news updates throughout the day.

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more