Arab Legaue's secretary-general Ahmed Abo El-Gheit (Photo: AP)
Activating an Arab safety net of $100 million monthly for Palestine has become an urgent necessity and a real test of the "seriousness of our commitment to support the endurance of our Palestinian brothers," Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul Gheit said on Sunday during an emergency meeting with Arab finance ministers.
Abul Gheit stressed the importance of timely and active work on the Arab level to support Palestinians through a financial safety network or though any form of financial support, whether with loans or grants to overcome a dangerous crisis.
The secretary-general discussed means of providing financial support to Palestine to allow it to combat Israeli pressures on the Palestinian economy, especially with the Palestinian Authority reporting a budget deficit of around $700 million in light of limited resources and revenues.
The meeting was called for by Abul Gheit as part of implementing a decision by Arab foreign ministers during their 21 April emergency meeting and the outcome of a Tunis summit on activating a $100 million financial safety network every month to boost the Palestinian Authority.
Tunisia chaired the meeting with the participation of Palestinian Finance Minister Shoukry Bishara.
Bishara discussed a US-led economic summit set to be held this week in Bahrain, where he said that Palestinians need peace instead of the meeting to develop their country.
“We don’t need the Bahrain meeting to build our country, we need peace, and the sequence of [the plan]—economic revival followed by peace—is unrealistic and an illusion,” Bishara said on the sidelines of a meeting of Arab finance ministers in Cairo.
“First of all give us our land and our freedom," he said.