The Straits Times
Published on Dec 30, 2012

US should play proactive role in Mid-East: Arab League chief


RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Saturday called on US President Barack Obama to be proactive in ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his forthcoming term.

"We hope that the new American administration adopts a policy of conflict resolution rather than conflict management," Mr Arabi said during a visit with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr to the West Bank headquarters of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Mr Arabi said that in the four-hour meeting with Mr Abbas they discussed the Arab League's promise to provide an economic "safety net" of US$100 million (S$122 million) a month to alleviate Israeli sanctions imposed after last month's historic United Nations vote to raise the Palestinians' diplomatic standing.

"We discussed the financial and political support for the Palestinian Authority and the Arab safety net under which 100 US dollars had to be provided monthly, but were not delivered," he said. He said the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority was undergoing a "crippling" financial crisis and that he and the Palestinian leader had agreed ways to tackle the problem, but he did not elaborate.