The Arab League met in Doha, Qatar on Sunday to discuss Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ planned bid for further UN member recognition, reports Ma’an News. The Palestinian Authority has spent much of the past two years searching for opportunities to join various international bodies as full member states. The plan has met with mixed success at the United Nations due mostly to the vehement refusal of Israel and the United States.
Israel has refused to return to the negotiating table so long as the issue of Palestinian statehood is open for debate – they want to meet only under their own conditions. The United States, meanwhile, has promised to shut off financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and various civilian projects if Abbas continues his pursuit of state recognition.
The joint front put up by the United States and Israel is precisely why the Arab League has met for its most recent round of discussions, reports Ma’an News.
Member states of the Arab League know that they must present a united front on the issue of Palestinian statehood and Abbas’ dogged pursuit has forced them to take a position one way or another. At the same time the wealthier member states know that the Palestinian Authority will need to be propped up with loans and grants if it is shut off from American foreign aid.