Palestinian president flies to Germany for medical checkup

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas flew to Germany on Monday for a medical checkup, Palestinian officials said.

FILE PHOTO: President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting in Ramallah

Abbas, 85, has long been in poor health and was admitted to hospital with pneumonia in 2018. A heavy smoker, he was also treated in a U.S. hospital the same year during a trip to address the U.N. Security Council.


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Abbas flew by Jordanian helicopter from his Ramallah headquarters in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to Amman, where he made a brief comment on the placing of Jordanian King Abdullah’s half-brother under house arrest.

“When these events occurred, we saw the whole world, without exception, standing by Jordan and by His Majesty, and this is evidence of the great respect and great interest in this peaceful and secure country,” Abbas said in televised remarks.

His comments were broadcast by the official Palestinian TV channel.

Palestinian political and security affairs are heavily intertwined with neighbouring Jordan, where more than 2 million registered Palestinian refugees live. Jordan’s Hashemite ruling family is also the custodian of the Muslim and Christian holy sites in East Jerusalem.

FILE PHOTO: Palestinian President Abbas tours Ramallah as COVID-19 restrictions ease

In January, Abbas called presidential and parliamentary elections for later this year in what was widely seen as attempt to restore his democratic mandate and reset relations with Washington.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Nidal al-Mughrabi, Writing by Stephen Farrell, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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