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Russia gives ten million dollars aid to Palestine

Written by: Staff

Moscow, May 5 (UNI) Russia has provided an aid of 10 million dollars in urgent financial assistance to Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

''In view of the aggravating socio-economic and humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, the Russian government has decided to offer urgent financial aid to the Palestinian National Authority, totalling 10 million dollars,'' Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

''The sum was transferred yesterday,'' it said adding funds were transferred to an account of PNA President Mahmoud Abbas' office.

The Ministry pointed out that the transaction had been coordinated with the West Asia 'Quartet' of international mediators, including Russia, the EU, the US and the United Nations.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had said it would be wrong to halt aid to the PNA because of radical Islamic group Hamas' dominance in the new government, after the January parliamentary elections in Palestine.

The US and EU have already suspended aid to the PNA unless Hamas renounced violence and recognised the state of Israel.

Russia does not consider Hamas a terrorist group. It was the first country to invite Hamas delegation to Moscow for talks in March.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has thanked Russia for political and economic support to the PNA.

''I would like to thank the Russian government for support, both political and economic one,'' Mr Haniyeh said in an interview to Izvestia published today.

''Thank you for inviting us to Moscow in March and thank you for allocating money to us,he said adding ''We hope Russia will play a greater role in the activity of West Asia 'Quartet' of mediators.

On financial help to Palestine from Arab countries he said, ''Palestinian government members have visited many Arab countries. We did not expect so many people would be ready to help us.'' ''That is why the PNA will be able to get over the financial crisis, it will do it quickly enough,'' Mr Haniyeh added.


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