Palestinian President Abbas heads to Germany for 'medical checks'
"President Abbas left today for a routine medical examination in Germany. This is a routine examination that was prepared for President Abu Mazen in advance and has been postponed for more than two weeks," said Jibril Rajoub, secretary of the Fatah Central Committee.
Abu Mazen is a commonly used nickname for the 85-year-old Abbas.
"The president suffers from no health problem and he will undergo these routine checks and return [to Ramallah] quickly," Rajoub explained.
However, the Palestinian Authority's national news agency has remained silent on Abbas' trip to Germany.
According to local media reports, two Jordanian aircraft landed at the Palestinian presidential residency in Ramallah on Monday, where they took Abbas to Amman. From there he will fly to Germany.
A source told AFP that Abbas was to fly to Germany where he would meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, before returning on Thursday, the source added, requesting anonymity pending an official announcement.
But a German government spokeswoman told AFP: "We cannot confirm there will be a meeting between the chancellor and President Abbas during his stay in Germany," where coronavirus restrictions are in place.The health checks come weeks before the anticipated summer elections.
Palestine will head to the polls for the first time in 15 years this summer. The legislative elections will take place for 22 May and a presidential vote on 31 July.