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Saturday, March 07, 2009

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' Prime Minister to resign?

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has announced that he intends to resign by the end of March - or sooner if a Hamas-Fatah 'unity government' can be formed sooner.
Fayad's decision was meant as a confidence-building measure, ahead of the resumption of Palestinian reconciliation talks on Tuesday in Cairo. Negotiators from Hamas and Abbas's Fatah movement are trying to form a transition government that is to prepare for presidential and legislative elections by January 2010.

Abbas said Saturday that he hoped a transition government could be formed by the end of March, suggesting that power-sharing talks have moved into high gear, following failed attempts in the past. Fayad's resignation "comes to enhance and support the national dialogue to reach a national unity government," Abbas said.

Fayad said he would step down after the formation of a new government, but no later than the end of March.
But the only one who is likely to be happy about this decision (assuming he sticks to it) is Fayyad himself.
Hamas seemed dismissive Saturday, arguing that the Fayad government had been unconstitutional from the start.

"This government did not work for the sake of the Palestinians, it worked for its own agenda. This end was expected for a government that was illegal and unconstitutional," said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza.
And 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen seemed less happy with the decision late in the day than he did earlier.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday asked Salam Fayyad to remain Palestinian prime minister until results emerged from Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks. He made the request shortly after Fayyad announced his intention to resign by the end of March.

Earlier Saturday, Abbas said Fayyad's resignation would aid the negotiations with Hamas.

"Fayyad's resignation comes to enhance and support the national dialogue to reach a national unity government," Abbas said.
One reason Abbas may not be so happy about Fayyad resigning has to do with the $4.481 billion $5.2 billion that was pledged to the 'Palestinians' last week at Sharm (on top of the $7.7 billion that was pledged to them last year. You see, no one really trusts Abu Mazen with all that money. It's Fayyad they trust.
The support for the U.S.-educated Fayyad translated into massive amounts of foreign aid for the Palestinians. In 2007, donor countries pledged $7.7 billion over three years for the Fayyad government. Last week, another pledging conference, convened in the wake of Israel's Gaza offensive, yielded $5.2 billion over two years.

It was not immediately clear whether the pledges would be affected by a change in the Palestinian government. Donors had said at the pledging conference that much of the aid would be funneled through the Fayyad government.
I'm still trying to figure out why all this money is being pledged to the 'Palestinians' with the world economy in a deep recession. Maybe this will be an excuse for countries to back off their pledges.

The person who's happy as a pig in a poke about Fayyad's resignation is Fayyad himself.
A senior Western diplomat said Fayyad has been saying privately for weeks that he wanted to leave his post "because he doesn't see any hope" of making progress in peace talks with Israel and healing factional rifts. [Two contradictory goals. CiJ].

Fayyad, a respected economist and a political independent, had won widespread international support as prime minister. He carried out government reforms, including making government spending more transparent and deploying Palestinian security forces in former militant strongholds in the West Bank.
It looks like Hamas and Fatah are going to reconcile. But don't expect that to stop the Obama administration from throwing money at the 'Palestinians.' And if it doesn't stop Obama, it won't stop the Europeans either.


At 3:32 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The good news is the two-state solution is dead. Hamas is opposed to it.


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