Abbas, Fayyad discuss cabinet reshuffle

Abbas (l) and Fayyad (r)

According to Palestinian Authority officials, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad have been discussing the proposed cabinet reshuffle. According to the officials, Fayyad will remain as Prime Minister, but will relinquish control of finance ministry to Nabil Qassis, a former president of Birzeit University. A deputy prime minister will also be named, while several other ministers will be replaced.

Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad said that the reshuffle will take place after Abbas returns from North Africa, where he is currently on his international tour. Sources in Ramallah stated that the new cabinet will be composed of Islamists and independents. The official did not comment on the alleged crisis between Fayyad and Abbas; it was previously reported by a London weekly that Abbas was angry at Fayyad for refusing to take part in the April 17 meeting with Netanyahu.

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