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2003-09-08

Arafat Names New Palestinian PM as Abu Mazen Resigns

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Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat picks Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Ahmed Qureia as the next PA prime minister. We speak to Middle East expert Mouin Rabbani and professor Tanya Reinhart.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat yesterday picked Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Ahmed Qureia as the next PA prime minister, with a Fatah central committee meeting approving the appointment last night.

Qureia has been lobbying American European diplomats for the past few weeks, sounding them out about his replacing Mahmoud Abbas, who resigned as prime minister on Saturday. There was no immediate comment from either Washington or Jerusalem on Qureia’s appointment, which only becomes official after a vote of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Ahmed Qureia was an architect of the 1993 Oslo peace accords. Qureia was bypassed earlier this year when U.S., European, U.N. and Russian representatives pushed Arafat to accept Abbas. Israeli officials have already indicated they may protest the appointment, saying he is too closely associated with Arafat.

  • Mouin Rabbani, Middle East analyst speaking from Jordan.
  • Tanya Reinhart, professor of linguistics at Tel Aviv University and the University of Ultrecht. She is the author of Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948. She is joins us on the phone from the Netherlands today.

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