Arab FMs decide on money for Palestinians, ask G8 for observers
Arab foreign ministers agreed Wednesday, July 18, to ask the G8 group of industrial countries to send observers to the Palestinian territories as well as provide $45 million a month to the Palestinians.
"We're going to ask them to provide observers," Palestinian international cooperation minister Nabil Shaath said after a meeting of the foreign ministers. "In the letter addressed to the G-8, we are asking them for a firm stand to guarantee to stop the Israeli threat."
The point was included in a communiqué ending the meeting in Cairo, along with a pledge from Saudi Arabia to provide $45 million to the Palestinians.
The Palestinians have repeatedly called in vain for international observers to monitor the violence in the Palestinian territories since it erupted in late September. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat left the meeting saying only "it was a very important meeting."
The meeting ― involving top diplomats from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and other Arab countries ― comes a day after Israel launched strikes and deployed massive reinforcements in the West Bank in response to a suicide bombing.
Arafat was to brief the meeting on "the situation in the Palestinian territories, and the Israeli escalation and aggression," his top aide Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP before he arrived in Cairo from Gaza City.
The committee was created during the October 2000 Arab summit in Cairo to follow-up on the decisions taken then to support the Palestinians, weeks after the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising that has derailed the peace process.
The Arab League committee groups Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and the Palestinian Authority. ― (AFP, Cairo
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)