Abbas: US Aid Cut Hurts Peace Process
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Friday warned Washington's decision to suspend financial aid to the PA is detrimental to the peace process, the Associated Press reports.
US lawmakers suspended a bloc of $200 million in aid to the PA in reaction to Abbas insistence at pursuing a unilateral bid for statehood at the United Nations outside the bilateral framework of the Oslo Accords.
The move, should the US stand firm, stands to deny the PA some $600 million in US aid per annum - a situation Jihad al-Wazir, governor of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, says could lead to Ramallah's fiscal ruin.
"I will not deny that we have a true relationship with the United States, but it is also an ally of Israel," Abbas complained.
Abbas also claimed US aid to the PA also, "serves the Israeli interest as well as their own and that of the peace (process') stability. Suspending the aid will be a disservice to both the peace process and Israel."
On Thursday Abbas addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and urged its members to support his unilateral bid.
"You supported the Arab Spring which calls for democracy and freedom," he said. "Now the Palestinian Spring has arrived asking for freedom and an end to occupation. We trust you, and we are confident that you will not abandon us and let us down."
But Israeli officials have said Abbas' unilateral track is not only a violation of the Oslo Accords, but creates an absurd and untenable situation whereby Israel is excluded from discussions of its own future.
Meanwhile, the Quarter for Middle East Peace – the United States, European Union, Russia, and UN – will meet Sunday in hopes of kick-starting stalled peace talks.