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Britain will not suspend PA aid over new UN bid
Published Saturday 01/09/2012 (updated) 02/09/2012 18:44
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The deputy consul-general visited Susiya on Wednesday.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Britain will not suspend financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if the latter submits a new application to the UN seeking recognition of Palestine as a non-member state of the General Assembly, a British official confirmed Friday.

The PA plans to ask the UN General Assembly to upgrade Palestine’s status to a non-member observer state in the fall. A previous bid for full UN membership stalled at the Security Council last year.

Speaking to Ma’an on Friday, UK deputy-consul general in Jerusalem Ben Saoul highlighted that the British government would continue to support the PA financially until 2015 to help build a Palestinian state and support economic development.

Britain’s financial aid to the Palestinians is about $160 million per year, said Saoul. A portion of this aid goes directly to the PA’s treasury, and the rest goes through UNRWA and non-governmental organizations.

The PA has been suffering from a crippling financial crisis and civil servants’ monthly salaries were delayed several times.

The deputy consul-general said he met Friday in Jerusalem with representatives of European donor organizations to discuss the financial crisis. Ending this crisis, he said, is a top priority for Britain and for the European Union.

Asked whether his country would vote for or against the new Palestinian UN bid, Saoul did not give a clear answer. “We don’t want to jump to conclusions,” he said.

The diplomat also refused to give a direct response to Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Liberman’s remarks describing President Mahmoud Abbas as an obstacle to the peace process.

“I will not address Liberman’s comments directly because they were directed to the Palestinian people, and not to the British government. However, in general, the legitimate representative of Palestine, in Britain’s view, is Mr Abbas, and we believe he is a man of peace.”

Britain is interested in supporting the Palestinians who live in area “C” which is under Israeli security control according to the terms of Oslo agreement, said Saoul.

He highlighted that on Wednesday he visited the southern West Bank village of Susiya south of Hebron along with a European delegation. They checked on three families whose tents were demolished recently by Israeli forces.
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1 ) Billy Bragg / UK
01/09/2012 13:43
The UK's Foreign Office (Camel Corp) are Arab arse licking again, as they have done since the Ottoman Occupation.

2 ) USAUSA / USA
01/09/2012 18:47
@1: I fear it is even worse. As the UK allows in more and more immigration from the Muslim world, the politicians develop a taste for the same.

3 ) Alaa / Egypt
01/09/2012 19:56
@1 & 2 I hope your racist islamophobic comments bit you where the sun don't shine some day :)

4 ) carine / UK
01/09/2012 21:54
#1 - You must be a member of the EDL (English Defence League) or the BNP (British National Party), both of whom are a bunch of hateful, racist thugs - in league with mindless football hooligans (which shows the level of your intelect).

5 ) USAUSA / USA
01/09/2012 22:00
What race is Islam @3? And a phobia is an irrational fear. A rational fear, that politicians will pander to islamic immigrants is not irrational. Sorry, your code words don't work.

6 ) Star UK / UK
01/09/2012 23:52
@1 One thing for sure, you are NOT Billy Bragg -- does he know you are abusing his name? Shall we find out?

7 ) Billy Bragg / UK
02/09/2012 01:38
#4 My comment is a fact , not an opinion.

8 ) Tibi / Tubas
02/09/2012 05:41
Britain should NOT suspend PA aid, but "over a new UN bid", but Britain SHOULD suspend PA aid over: 1- Dishonesty and lots of stolen monies, 2- NO progress towards statehood, and worst of all 3- NO potential for progress with it's NO Negotiations stance !!!

9 ) Colin Wright / USA
02/09/2012 05:44
Billy Bragg and USAUSA are repelled by Muslims. I'm considerably more repelled by Billy Bragg and USAUSA. These represent neither the Britain I admire nor the USA I admire. They have perverted everything we ever stood for.

10 ) Billy Bragg / UK
03/09/2012 00:52
#9 Certainly not repelled by Muslims, but highly offended by our Camel Corps bias.
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