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PA President Mahmoud Abbas meets Qatari ruler in Doha

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha on November 30, 2021. (WAFA)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha on November 30, 2021. (WAFA)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to discuss bilateral relations, according to Abbas’s office.

“The president discussed with the emir of Qatar how to strengthen bilateral relations and means to develop them in every field,” Abbas’s office says in a laconic statement.

The Palestinian Authority is currently watching its deficit balloon as it undergoes a sustained financial crisis. The European Union and wealthy Arab Gulf states have shelled out almost no aid to Ramallah over the past year. In 2019, Qatar sent $54 million to support the PA budget; it has sent none so far this year.

Qatar is a key patron of Abbas’s rivals in Hamas; Qatari envoys have occasionally brokered talks between Abbas’s Fatah movement and the terror group.

But Abbas also has close personal ties to the country: he spent time in political exile in Doha in the early 2000s, and his son, Mazen, a businessman, lived there for years before dying of a heart attack in 2002.

Abbas last visited Doha in late 2020 during the buildup to the planned Palestinian national elections. Abbas later canceled the vote, a move widely seen as an attempt to avoid an embarrassing defeat by his rivals in Hamas and within his own Fatah movement.

Abbas also met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun last night following the opening soccer match of the Arab Cup of Nations in Doha, his office says.

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