News Column

Fayyad May Resign as Palestian Prime Minister

Apr 11 2013 7:32AM

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was pondering whether to resign Thursday due to irreconcilable differences with President Mahmoud Abbas, a senior official said.

Fayyad was expected to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah after the president's return from a visit to Qatar and Jordan and submit his letter of resignation.

It was not immediately clear whether Abbas would accept it.

Tensions between the two sharpened last month, when Fayyad accepted the resignation of finance minister Nabeel Kassis, despite Abbas' objection.

Kassis quit over differences with Fayyad on the budget. Observers said he felt Fayyad, himself an internationally renowned economist, had infringed on his authority.

Azzam Ahmad, a senior member of Abbas' Fatah movement, told Voice of Palestine Radio that Abbas was not happy with Kassis' resignation, which Fayyad had accepted while Abbas was abroad.

He said Abbas had told Fayyad that Kassis had to return to his post.

Abbas told Fayyad, "either, or" said Ahmad, meaning that either Kassis returns or Fayyad leaves.

Fayyad has offered to resign several times before to allow for the formation of a government of national unity with the radical Islamist Hamas movement ruling Gaza. Hamas objects to Fayyad as premier.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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