Palestinian PM Steps Down to Pave Way for Power Share

Move aimed at easing Palestinian reconciliation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 7, 2009 7:02 AM CST
Palestinian PM Steps Down to Pave Way for Power Share
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, March 4, 2009.    (AP Photo/Atef Safadi)

Palestine’s prime minister submitted his resignation today, a move that could help pave the way for an elusive power-sharing deal between Fatah moderates and Hamas militants. Salam Fayyad's decision was meant to build confidence before Palestinian reconciliation talks resume Tuesday in Cairo. He was appointed by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007 in response to the violent takeover of Gaza by Hamas.

Negotiators from Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah are trying to form a transition government ahead of elections by January 2010. Abbas said he hoped a transition government could be formed by the end of March; he said he’d step down after its formation, but no later than the end of March. Fayyad's resignation "comes to enhance and support the national dialogue to reach a national unity government," Abbas said. But Hamas seemed dismissive. (More Salam Fayyad stories.)

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