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Bush to offer Abbas direct aid | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Washington, May 26, SPA — President George W. Bush will offer tens of millions of dollars in direct aid to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during their planned meeting Thursday, administration sources told CNN Wednesday.

Saying he did not know how much assistance he would receive, Abbas told CNN Wednesday he will ask that any U.S. aid be sent directly to the Palestinian Authority”s Ministry of Finance.

&#34The Ministry of Finance now enjoys a great deal of transparency and accountability,&#34 he said through a translator after meeting with U.S. officials in Washington, where he arrived Tuesday night for a three-day visit.

Thursday”s meeting with Bush will be the first between U.S. and Palestinian leaders since Middle East peace talks broke down in 2000.

Abbas” delegation also is expected to meet with other top administration officials, members of Congress, and Jewish- and Muslim-American leaders.

Abbas had a working dinner Wednesday evening with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

He arrived in Washington after meeting with Jordan”s King Abdullah II to coordinate efforts to restart an international peace plan known as the &#34road map.&#34

That plan is sponsored by the so-called Mideast Quartet of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union.