Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
have reached an agreement on the formation of a new Palestinian cabinet,
Palestinian sources said Tuesday.
The agreement was reached during a
three-hour meeting between the two men, the sources said.
the sources, the agreement was made possible after Abbas abandoned his demand
for a cabinet reshuffle and accepted Fayyad’s request to form a new
The new cabinet will be headed by Fayyad and will consist of 20
ministers, the London-based Al-Quds Al- Arabi reported Tuesday.
cabinet will be sworn in before Abbas, the newspaper said.
said that Abbas and Fayyad agreed in principle to change, and not reshuffle, the
Between six and seven new ministers are expected to join the new
cabinet, they said.
Abbas and Fayyad have yet to reach an agreement on
the position of foreign minister.
While Abbas insists on keeping current
Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in his position, Fayyad wants him out of the
The sources claimed that the Abbas-Fayyad agreement calls for
appointing Nabil Qassis, former head of Bir Zeit University, as finance
The finance ministry has been in the hands of Fayyad since the
establishment of the West Bank government more than three years ago.
dispute between Abbas and Fayyad over the foreign ministry is very big,” one
source told Al-Quds Al-Arabi. “Maliki will be a hot and hard battle, but
Fayyad will lose,” the source said.
Fayyad will hold only one position in
the new cabinet – prime minister. In addition, a top Fatah official will be
appointed as deputy prime minister.