Malaysia To Give US$16 Million To Palestinian Government


May 21, 2006 20:13 PM

Malaysia To Give US$16 Million To Palestinian Government

From Amer Hamzah Md Sap Amer

SHARM EL-SHEIKH (Egypt), May 21 (Bernama) – Malaysia is ready to give US$16 million (RM57.6 million) to the cash-squeezed Palestinian Authority, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said the aid was to help the Palestinian government provide for the need of the Palestinian people following an aid boycott by major Western donor countries after the radical Hamas movement won elections in January.

“I have discussed with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on their need,” he said at a news conference after he addressed a session at the World Economic Forum on Middle East at this Egyptian Red Sea resort Sunday.

The session was also attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmad Mahmoud Nazif, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan and Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

Abdullah said the details of how the aid would be given to the Palestinian Authority would be discussed when Abbas visits Malaysia.

Saturday, Abbas said he had accepted an invitation to visit Malaysia from Abdullah at a time and date yet to be decided.

Abdullah said Malaysia would channel the aid to the Palestinian Authority through Abbas.

However, he said, the time would come when all sides would have to deal directly with the Hamas-led government.

International donors who included the European Union and the United States suspended aid to the Palestinian Authority unless Hamas, which they categorised as a terrorist organisation, agreed to renounce violence and recognise Israel.

Abdullah, who is the current chair of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), today also held bilateral meetings with the Egyptian premier and OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.