US and Europe act to prevent resignation of Fayyad

By Zoe Winograd, April 12, 2013

American and European officials have asked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to postpone a meeting with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad which was meant to take place today.

It is believed that Mr Abbas wanted to discuss the possibility of Mr Fayyad leaving the government.

According to sources, Mr Fayyad may have resigned following a disagreement with Mr Abbas over the departure of finance minister Nabil Qassis.

It remains unclear whether Mr Fayyad officially handed in his letter of resignation: some sources have reported that Mr Abbas fired Mr Fayyad.

The historically unstable PA has a track record of resignations that never materialised.

The US and European Union are eager to keep Mr Fayyad in his role while US Secretary of State John Kerry tries to facilitate negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

A senior diplomat in Jerusalem told Ha’aretz: "Fayyad's departure would have a serious impact on relations with the international community."

Mr Kerry met Mr Fayyad in Jerusalem during his shuttle diplomacy visit to Israel this week.

Last updated: 5:06pm, April 12 2013