'US weighs in to keep Fayyad in office'

Palestinian sources say Kerry phoned Abbas Friday to discuss Fayyad crisis; EU and US urge Fayyad to stay in office.

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April 13, 2013 15:43
1 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pray in the West Bank, 2012.

Abbas and Fayyad look like they have a headache, 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

The US Administration stepped in over the weekend to keep Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in office, Palestinian sources in Ramallah said.

The sources said that Washington and some EU countries warned PA President Mahmoud Abbas against removing Fayyad from his job.

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On Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Abbas to discuss the crisis between the PA prime minister and Abbas.

Abbas and Fayyad were scheduled to meet last Thursday to discuss the crisis, however the meeting was called off after Abbas came under pressure to keep Fayyad in his position.

The crisis erupted after Fayyad submitted a letter of resignation to Abbas a few weeks ago. Fayyad decided to quit following months of tensions between him and Abbas on a number of issues, including the resignation of PA Finance Minister Nabil Qassis.

Fayyad has insisted on accepting Qassis’s resignation, while Abbas wants him back in government.

Fayyad was also said to be angry over recurring attacks on him and his government by top Fatah officials, who hold him responsible for the financial crisis in the PA.

A senior PA official confirmed that the Americans and some Europeans were acting to solve the crisis between Abbas and Fayyad.

“They don’t want to see Fayyad removed,” the official said. “But they need to know that President Abbas is the only one who can decide on this matter.”

EU and US diplomats have also been in touch with Fayyad over the weekend to urge him to stay in office, another official said.


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