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Abbas in Egypt for talks with el-Sisi and King Abdullah

The summit comes after Abbas last week fired 13 of his 16 regional governors.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at P.A. headquarters in Ramallah, May 5, 2020. Credit: Flash90.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at P.A. headquarters in Ramallah, May 5, 2020. Credit: Flash90.

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Egypt on Sunday for a meeting with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah II.

The three men were to discuss the latest developments in the Arab, regional and international arenas, the PLO’s ambassador to Cairo, Diab al-Louh, told the P.A.’s Wafa news agency ahead of the visit.

Abbas’s trip is at the invitation of the Egyptian president. The summit was set to take place in the Mediterranean coastal city of El Alamein, where reconciliation talks took place last month between Palestinian terrorist factions under the chairmanship of Abbas and with the inclusion of Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh.

“The three leaders will also discuss the latest developments in the Palestinian issue and coordinate positions on garnering international support to end the suffering of the Palestinian people, achieve their legitimate national rights to freedom and independence, and establish their state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Wafa reported.

Abdullah hosted Abbas for talks in Amman last week.

The summit comes after Abbas last week issued a decree removing 13 of his 16 regional governors from their posts in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Only the governors of Jerusalem, Salfit and Ramallah/al-Bireh remain in their posts. 

Abbas’s own status within his Fatah faction is shaky due to his age and poor health, and the lack of change in relations between the P.A. and Israel, creating a real risk of a loss of further control in other Palestinian-governed cities across Judea and Samaria, counterterrorism expert Professor Boaz Ganor told JNS last month.

Recent polling shows that the 87-year-old Abbas is deeply unpopular among the Palestinian public, who increasingly support opposition armed terrorist groups. In Jenin specifically, at least 45% of residents are believed to be affiliated with Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Israel is debating a financial aid package to prevent the P.A. from collapsing with some measures already moving forward while others are still under discussion.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday appointed its first-ever (non-resident) envoy to the Palestinian Authority, who will double as consul general to Jerusalem.

Nayef al-Sudairi, who is also Riyadh’s ambassador to Jordan, presented his credentials to Abbas’s diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khalidi during a meeting at Ramallah’s mission in Amman over the weekend.

Because Saudi Arabia does not have a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, the appointment does not require approval from Israel, which considers the city its undivided capital.

“[The Saudis] don’t need to ask for permission from us. They didn’t coordinate [the move] with us and don’t need to coordinate with us. We won’t allow the opening of a diplomatic mission [to the P.A.] of any kind [in Jerusalem]” said Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Sunday.

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