UN’s Mideast coordinator denies he sought to transfer funds to Hamas
Robert Serry says reports Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman aims to expel him are ‘disheartening’
By Times of Israel staff June 21, 2014, 11:14 pm 6
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry (photo credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, on Saturday denied allegations that he had been trying to transfer funds to Hamas. Serry’s denial came in response to a report earlier in the evening that Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman intends to expel the Jerusalem-based Middle East official for seeking to transfer tens of millions of dollars of funds to the terror group.
Serry acknowledged in a statement released Saturday night that he was on a visit to Qatar a few weeks ago but denied that talks of a UN role in the payment of salaries in Gaza — an issue described in the statement as having “potentially destabilizing effects on security in Gaza,” and seemingly the basis on which Liberman made his allegations – took place. Serry said he was approached by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on the matter but made it clear that the UN “would only be able to be of assistance if acceptable to all stakeholders, including Israel.” The UN official added that the information was “immediately shared with Israeli authorities at the working level” and that Israel reacted negatively.