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PNA condemns alleged U.S. Congress decision to freeze 200 mln USD aid

(Xinhua)

10:14, October 02, 2011

RAMALLAH, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) condemned Saturday the alleged U.S. Congress decision to freeze 200 million U.S. dollars in Palestinian aid, as the voting on a Palestinian bid to the United Nations for a statehood gets clear.

Mohamed Ishteya, a senior Palestinian negotiator and central committee member of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party told the Bethlehem-based news agency Maan that "it's unreasonable to bargain the political stances with money."

"It's really astonishing. Israel, the occupier and the aggressor country, hasn't stopped the taxes revenues due to the PNA, why does the U.S. Congress do so," said Ishteya.

"This would put the ties between us and the United States in an embarrassing situation," if the U.S. Congress does so, Ishteya said, adding that the U.S. pressures "won't change our positions."

On Sept. 23, Abbas announced before the UN General Assembly that he had officially submitted a request to the UN Security Council for a full membership of a Palestinian state on 1967 territories.

The Palestinians are still waiting for a UN Security Council vote, which would take at least another week. They said they are certain that their bid for an independent statehood would be passed by the council with a majority, although the United States threatened to veto it.

"Our position is quite clear that we are committed to the aspirations of our people in self-determination and independence," Ishteya said, ruling out that the U.S. administration would respond to the Congress' decision.

He added that the decision was made more than a month ago and there are messages from the Arab and Islamic worlds that they would compensate the PNA in case the United States cuts its aids to the Palestinians."

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