Palestinians discussing Abbas as interim PM

Qatari proposal would see the PA president serve as prime minister until elections are held in the W. Bank and Gaza Strip.

February 6, 2012 10:04
1 minute read.
PA President Abbas, Hamas chief Mashaal in Qatar

PA President Abbas meets Hamas chief Mashaal in Qatar 390 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Thaer Ghanaim/PPO/Handout)

Palestinian sources on Monday said Fatah and Hamas were discussing a Qatari proposal that would see Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas serving as interim prime minister of the PA, following meetings with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in Doha Sunday.

At the meetings in Qatar, the leaders of the rival Palestinian factions agreed to form an interim government, which would prepare for and serve until elections are held, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

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On Sunday, Palestinian sources said a unity government would be announced in the coming two weeks although it was not clear who would head it at the time.

Hamas has voiced strong opposition to the appointment of current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as head of the proposed unity government.

Abbas and Mashaal met under the auspices of the rulers of Qatar, who have put pressure on Fatah and Hamas to implement the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation that they reached in Cairo last year.

Azzam Ahmed, a top aide to Abbas, said that the two parties agreed on the formation of a unity government and to holding new elections in the near future.

Ahmed said the two men also managed to solve a number of problems hindering the implementation of the reconciliation accord, such as the travel ban imposed by Hamas on Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip, and the issuing of Palestinian passports to residents of the West Bank.

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