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Hamas-led Cabinet Contacts Abbas over Financial Crisis
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Hamas-led cabinet has made intensive contact with the office of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the past few hours in a bid to ease the ongoing financial crisis, Palestinian sources revealed on Sunday.

Abbas is currently in Jordan to coordinate the financial assistance from Arab countries in order to pay salaries owed to the government employees as soon as possible.

The cabinet and the presidential office were trying to solve their disputes over the competences on finance, security and border crossings, the sources said.

Both sides also discussed the formation of a joint delegation headed by Abbas to make a tour to the Arab world to raise funds for the cash-strapped Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Jamal al-Khudari, who is in UAE for talks on financial aid, said that he telephoned President Abbas and briefed him on the results of the talks he held during his current tour.

Al-Khudari urged Abbas to assist the government by releasing funds from the Palestinian Investment Fund.

inister of Planning Samir Abu Eisheh on Saturday also met with Abbas in Jordanian capital of Amman for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, the first deputy to the parliament Speaker Ahmad Bahar affirmed that the cabinet had received big financial support from Iran, saying that the size of support would be announced later.

he Hamas-led cabinet, which took office on March 29, delayed payment of about US$120 million of monthly salaries to about 140,000 government employees due to the halt of financial aid by donor countries, mainly the United States and the European Union.

Israel has also halted the monthly transfer of about US$50 million of tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PNA since Hamas won the parliamentary elections in January.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2006)

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