First Published: 2013-04-06

 

Abbas warns Fayyad: Bring back Nabil Qassis or face dismissal

 

Palestinian president may fire Prime Minister as party criticises premier's government as being ‘improvised and confused.’

 

Middle East Online

Cause of disagreement: Resignation of Finance Minister

RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories) - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas may fire Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a Fatah member said, as the party criticised the premier's government as being "improvised and confused."

Abbas "is leaning towards dismissing Fayyad from the head of the government and forming a new one," a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council said late on Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"I am angrier than all of you at the government... but I don't want to say more than that now. Just wait for three days," he quoted Abbas as saying at a meeting of the council in Ramallah.

He said the key factor was disagreement over the resignation of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority's Finance Minister, which Abbas refused to accept but which Fayyad, a US-educated economist, agreed to.

Nabil Qassis, a former president of the Bir Zeit University near Ramallah who joined the government in May 2012, announced on March 2 that he was resigning, without giving a reason. Abbas was abroad at the time.

"Abbas informed Fayyad that if Nabil Qassis did not return to the finance ministry... Abbas would dismiss his government and form a new one," the official said.

The Revolutionary Council -- one of the secular Fatah's governing bodies -- also officially criticised Fayyad's government for the first time on Friday.

"The policies of the current Palestinian government are improvised and confused in many issues of finance and the economy," it said in a statement.

Fayyad, 61, a political independent and former International Monetary Fund and World Bank official, was first appointed Palestinian Prime Minister amid the deadly takeover by the Islamist Hamas of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Hamas has never recognised his authority, continuing instead to recognise its own Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya.

Rumours have been rife in Ramallah that Fayyad is on the way out because of differences with the Fatah leadership.

The Palestinian Authority is facing chronic budget difficulties labelled by ministers as "the worst financial crisis" since its creation in 1994.

The Palestinian fiscal crisis is aggravated by non-payment of aid pledged by global donors, mainly the United States and Arab nations, and tensions with Israel.

Fayyad spent three days in hospital this week being treated for pancreatic inflammation. He was discharged late on Wednesday after undergoing treatment and returned home to rest, a medic close to the premier said.

 

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

Syria, Russia support UN in suspending Aleppo fighting

Pope to rebuild bridges with Islamic world in Turkey visit

OPEC meets for pivotal decision on oil output

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Powers to push for Iran nuclear deal before new deadline

Iraqi forces, tribesmen battle IS jihadists in Ramadi

Egypt jails 78 minors for pro-Morsi protests

US slams Assad regime for ‘continued slaughter’

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'