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Abbas in Saudi for Talks on Mideast Crisis - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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RIYADH (AFP) – Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas has arrived in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah for talks with King Abdullah on the current Middle East crisis.

Abbas, on an Arab tour to seek support as Israel wages a massive onslaught on the Gaza Strip, will “swap views with King Abdullah about the dangerous situation in the region and brief the Saudi leader on developments in the Palestinian territories,” the source told AFP.

Abbas arrived from Egypt Saturday, and is also due to visit Kuwait on Sunday and Qatar on Monday.

Israel has mounted devastating assaults on Gaza and Lebanon following the capture of Israeli soldiers by Palestinian militants and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.

Both Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups have demanded the release of Arab prisoners in Israeli jails in return for the release of the Israeli soldiers.

Abbas said after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Alexandria Saturday that the release of Palestinians in Israeli jails should not be conditional on freeing the Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants on June 25.

He also tried to distance himself from events in Lebanon.

“Our brothers in Lebanon have their circumstances and we have ours, whether it concerns prisoners or the offensive against Lebanon,” Abbas said.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia has pledged 250 million dollars for reconstruction in the Palestinian territories, which have also been reeling under a Western financial boycott of the Hamas-led government elected in January.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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