Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, arrived in Cairo, on Wednesday evening, to attend talks held by the Arab Follow-up Committee. Abbas held talks with Egypt’s acting security chief and a number of security officials. The President landed at the Cairo and was welcomed by Egypt’s work force minister, Khaled Al-Azhary, the Palestinian Ambassador in Cairo and Palestine’s permanent ambassador to the Arab League, Barakat Al-Farra, acting head of the Egyptian Intelligence, Mohammad Ibrahim, Nader Al-A’sar who headed the Palestinian file at the Egyptian Intelligence.
Abbas is accompanied in his trip by member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Saeb Erekat, Presidential Spokesperson, Nabil Abu Rodeina, and Political Advisor, Majdi Al-Khalidi.
Following the welcome ceremony, Abbas met at his residence in Cairo the head of the Egyptian Security Services, lieutenant Ra’fat Shihada and several Egyptian security officials.
The talks focused on the situation in the occupied territories, the efforts to achieve national Palestinian unity, and the international moves that the Palestinian Authority is conducting to achieve full international recognition of the legitimate Palestinian rights of statehood and independence.
Abbas also thanked Egypt for its essential role in ending the internal Palestinian divisions, and for its ongoing support of the Palestinian cause.
The Palestinian Authority is facing a serious financial crisis as the United States is refraining from granting it financial support in an attempt to pressure it into voiding its plan to head to the United Nations this month to seek international recognition of statehood. Israel is also blocking the transfer of Tax and Customs money it collects on behalf of the P.A. on West Bank border terminals. (Israel controls all border terminals in the West Bank)
President Abbas stated, Wednesday, that the Palestinian Authority garnered the support of Arab and Islamic countries, and the 120 countries that are member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
It is worth mentioning that the P.A was unsuccessful in upgrading its formal status at the United Nations, as the Palestinian Authority is currently listed as an “Observer Entity” at the United Nations with no voting rights, and currently intends to apply for recognition as a “non-member observer state”. The P.A. will be seeking the recognition on September 27.
Abbas told reporters in Cairo that the recent decisions of the Islamic Summit in Doha, and summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, are significant factors that encouraged the P.A to not to cancel its plan to the UN later this month.
Israel and the United States are pushing the Palestinians into resuming peace talks, and are imposing harsh restrictions that are choking the already devastated economic situation of the Palestinian Authority.
But the Palestinian Authority said that it cannot resume peace talks with Israel while it continues its invasions, assaults and the violations, and while it continue to construct and expand Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem.