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PA sources: Abbas, Fayyad discuss cabinet reshuffle

April 30, 2012 11:49 A.M. (Updated: May 2, 2012 9:53 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad have this week been discussing the details of a cabinet reshuffle, Palestinian Authority sources told Ma'an on Monday.

Fayyad will reportedly remain prime minister but will relinquish control of the PA's finance ministry to Nabil Qassis, the sources said.

Qassis currently heads the Yasser Arafat Foundation and is a former president of Birzeit University.

A new deputy prime minister will be appointed and several other unnamed ministers will also be replaced.

Senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad told official PA radio that Abbas began consulting over the cabinet reshuffle before leaving for Tunisia on Saturday.

Fayyad has also started consultations over the cabinet reshuffle and is expected to include both Islamists and independents in the new cabinet, according to sources in Ramallah.

They said the talks between Abbas and Fayyad, which took place this week in Ramallah, did not address the recent reported crisis between the two leaders.

London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi reported that a "silent crisis" had emerged after Fayyad refused to deliver a letter from Abbas to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in April.

Al-Hayat newspaper reported that Fayyad dropped out of the delegation due to a disagreement with Erekat.

Erekat slammed the report as "mean", questioning why it was published without contacting him or Fayyad.

The PLO official said a full cabinet reshuffle will take place once Abbas returns from the tour of north Africa.
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