Doha, 26 Muharram 1434/10 December 2012 (Aljazeera/MINA) – At meeting of Arab League ministers, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani brands the Quartet “a failure” and calls for rethink of peace process.
The Qatari Prime Minister is referring to the failure of the International Quartet on the Middle-East Peace Process to broker a permanent peace for Middle East.
The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Quartet are the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia. The group was established in Madrid in 2002, recalling Madrid Conference of 1991, as a result of the escalating conflict in the Middle East. Tony Blair is the Quartet’s current Special Envoy
Arab League foreign ministers have agreed during a meeting to send hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority to make up for punitive measures imposed by the Israeli government after a successful bid for recognition at the United Nations.
The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly last month to recognise Palestine as a non-member observer state, an historic though largely symbolic move.
Israel responded by withholding some $100m per month in taxes and customs duties it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The Israeli government said the money will instead go to pay Palestinian debts owed to Israeli companies.
Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator from the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), an umbrella group of Palestinian political factions, said that Arab states agreed on Sunday in the Qatari capital, Doha, to make up for the shortfall.
“We agreed that Arab states activate a resolution of providing $100m per month,” he said.
“The Qatari prime minister and the Arab League secretary-general will follow up the implementation of this resolution within two weeks.”
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, had warned that the PA could collapse without the funds. Many of the authority’s employees have not received their full wages for months. “We can’t pay the salaries,” he said. (T/R-017/R-006)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)