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Israeli brush-off for Brits

    Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas popped in during his trip to London this week for a meeting with Sir Ronnie Cohen, chairman of the Portland Trust, which sponsors projects on the West Bank.

    The Palestinian leader was due to have met senior community figures over lunch, although the meeting - which was at the instigation of the FCO - ended up not happening.

    Nonetheless, President Abbas' willingness is in marked contrast to visiting Israeli ministers.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who was also here this week, spoke at the Manchester UJIA dinner and attended the Israel Diaspora Trust (a dining club for well-to-do Jews and their friends). But he could not find time in over 3 days to meet community representatives.

    Premier Benjamin Netanyahu was also too busy to accept the hospitality of communal dignitaries on his last visit.

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