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Abbas aides leave PM's home

June 20, 2013 10:36 P.M. (Updated: June 22, 2013 9:34 A.M.)
TULKAREM (Ma’an) – Aides to President Mahmoud Abbas spent three hours trying to convince newly appointed Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to change his mind about resigning late Thursday.

Tayib Abdul-Rahim, Abbas' top aide, and intelligence chief Majid Faraj left after more than three hours of talks at Hamdallah's home in Anabta trying to convince him to reconsider.

A Ma’an reporter in Tulkarem said the meeting ended without either side making a statement.

If he insists on his resignation, the president, under law, must appoint a new premier.

Abbas himself could end up filling the post.

Hamdallah left his office in Ramallah at noon Thursday in a private car after offering his resignation, knowledgeable sources told Ma'an.

They said the premier submitted his resignation to Abbas following a heated argument between his deputies Muhammad Mustafa and Ziad Abu Amr.

Aides to the president declined to comment on Hamdallah’s resignation.

But Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum was quick to remind the Palestinian Authority that Hamdallah’s resignation “was evidence that individual moves remain weak and unfeasible.”

Barhoum wrote on his Facebook page that the right choice would be to implement all the terms of a reconciliation agreement instead of “duplicating” past formulas.

Abbas swore Hamdallah into office on June 6. Upon taking the oath, he pledged that his government would follow President Abbas’ agenda and policies.

His cabinet held only two official sessions. Days ago, Palestinians in Nablus demonstrated to urge the government to fight high prices and to lower taxes.

In the short time since taking office, Hamdallah has visited Jerusalem and prayed at the al-Aqsa Mosque. He also met with representatives of organizations in Jerusalem.
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