Disappointment reigned in Ramallah this week as Qatar’s Emir postponed his first visit there for unknown reasons, Reuters reports.
Instead, Palestinian officials welcomed Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, who congratulated the people on a successful United Nations status upgrade to “observer status” last month.
Following the UN upgrade, Israel has imposed some $100 million in sanctions on the Palestinian territories, prompting a financial crisis that president Mahmoud Abbas is hoping Arab leaders will alleviate.
But during this week’s trip, Elaraby did not re-pledge the $100 million monthly stipend that Arab nations agreed to provide to the territories during a summit earlier this year.
Elaraby, who met with Hamas officials in Gaza last month, became the first Arab League chief to visit Ramallah.
Hamas, which split from the West Bank after it seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, also won a diplomatic coup by receiving Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar, who pledged $400 million in aid for the impoverished territory in October.
The emir postponed a visit to Ramallah he had announced this month, disappointing West Bank officials who had hoped he would arrive bearing gifts of cash.
A Palestinian Authority official said the Emir will visit Ramallah at the end of next month.