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Fayyad says 'ready to leave' for unity

Nov. 19, 2011 10:28 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 20, 2011 6:21 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has hit back at suggestions that he is non-democratic and an obstacle to reconciliation, in comments posted on his Facebook page late Friday.

Fayyad, who heads the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority based in Ramallah, has emerged as stumbling block to selecting a caretaker government jointly with Hamas, who reject his candidacy as premier.

"I am more than ready to leave respectfully," Fayyad posted on Facebook, vowing that he "will never be an obstacle or an element of instability since I am a responsible person and I care."

President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas insists Fayyad lead the planned unity government despite Hamas' objections, but Fayyad has renounced his position holding up implementation of the reconciliation deal.

Fayyad was appointed prime minister of the Palestinian Authority by Abbas in 2007 but Hamas has never recognized him.

In his Facebook post, Fayyad angrily challenged unspecified accusations that he treats the post with entitlement.

"It is being said that I was like a de facto imposed on the Palestinian people in all governments and official positions I held," he wrote.

"Frankly speaking, this is offensive to the Palestinian people in the first place, and to the Palestinian factions, not to mention that it is insulting to me personally."

"I never said my performance was the best under all circumstances, but I say that we and others made contributions together," he added.

Fayyad said he was ready to leave his post as soon as he was asked to.

"I am proud I had contributions, but I don't claim I had more than that. However, this is nothing I hold fast to at all, under any circumstances."

Fayyad on Monday said he refused "to be used as a pretext for continuing the split" and called on all parties to agree on a new prime minister, in an interview with the Al-Quds newspaper.

Both parties agreed to form a caretaker government to prepare for fresh elections, as part of a reconciliation deal signed in May to end years of bitter hostility between Fatah, which leads the PA in the West Bank, and Hamas, which governs Gaza.

Abbas and exiled Hamas party chief Khalid Mashaal are scheduled to meet in Cairo at the end of November, in a renewed push to implement the May reconciliation agreement between their parties.

A Fatah official told Ma'an on Wednesday that Abbas would explain to Mashaal why he seeks to appoint Fayyad as prime minister in the caretaker government.
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