Ma'an News Agency
August 9, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority cabinet reshuffle will take place within two weeks, Fatah's parliament speaker Azzam Al-Ahmad said Sunday.

President Mahmoud Abbas confirmed there would be a reshuffle in May, although reports of a new PA cabinet have been circulating since February.

US pressure on Palestinian leadership to move to direct talks with Israel, and a busy schedule of visits have delayed the forming of a new cabinet, Al-Ahmad told Ma’an Radio Network.

Referring to the letter sent to the US administration by the follow-up committee of the Arab Peace Initiative, after its recent meeting in Cairo, the Fatah official dismissed reports saying it gave a green light to direct talks as “baseless and inaccurate.”

The letter outlined the Arab vision of the peace process, and demanded the right environment for talks including a halt to settlement construction and a framework for negotiations, Al-Ahmad said.

Further, he said the US administration is not qualified to broker peace talks due to its total bias toward Israel, adding that US President Barack Obama has backtracked from his stance outlined in his June 2009 speech in Cairo, in which he pledged his support for a Palestinian state.

In the speech, Obama insisted settlement building must stop, explaining that it “violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace.”


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