'Abbas set to swear in new Fayyad-led PA cabinet'

Officials put finishing touches on new deal; Abbas, Fayyad were reported to have disagreed on FM appointment.

Abbas Fayyad Arafat (photo credit: REUTERS)
Abbas Fayyad Arafat
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A new Salam Fayyad-led Palestinian Authority cabinet will be sworn in later Wednesday, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported, citing informed sources.
According to the report, the finishing touches of the new cabinet have been completed.
Earlier this month, Palestinian sources said an agreement between PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas on the new cabinet had been reached.
According to 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 cabinet.
The new cabinet will be headed by Fayyad and will consist of 20 ministers, the London-based Al-Quds Al- Arabi reported.
Between six and seven new ministers are expected to join the new cabinet, they said.
While Abbas has been insisting on keeping current Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in his position, Fayyad wants him out of the cabinet.
“The 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.
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.