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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Karin Laub, "Palestinian PM resigns," Winnipeg Sun, March 8, 2009.

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- The western-backed Palestinian prime minister submitted his resignation yesterday, improving the odds of a possible unity government of Fatah moderates and Hamas militants, followed by new Palestinian elections.

Salam Fayyad announced he will step down once a new government is formed, but no later than the end of March. Unity talks between Hamas and Fatah, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, are to resume this week in Cairo. Abbas aides noted that if the negotiations fail, Abbas might reappoint Fayyad.

Fayyad, a respected economist, was appointed prime minister by Abbas in June 2007, following Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza.

  Abbas' support at home as been eroding steadily, both because of his perceived lack of decisiveness during the Gaza war and because his yearlong peace talks with Israel produced no results.

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