Ma'an News Agency
June 22, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Prime Minister in Ramallah Salam Fayyad assured Tuesday evening that he "can't and won't be an obstacle to Palestinian reconciliation."

Following speculation he would publicly refuse the post of prime minister in the new transitional unity government being negotiated by Hamas and Fatah, his words fell short of the declaration, saying "I shall support to the best of my abilities any candidate Palestinian parties agree upon."

Speaking at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, he said that the "Palestinian people are rich with abilities and capabilities," and said he felt sure that a capable candidate would be selected.

"I am flattered by President Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee's position regarding my nomination for the prime ministerial post. It doesn't only make me happy as a person, it is also a certificate that our policy is appreciated," he told reporters.

He said he was sure a unity government would be achieved, saying that Palestinian statehood depended on it. He added that "Going to the UN in September remains only a theory if we do not achieve unity."

Fayyad weighed in on the latest Hamas-Fatah dispute, stating his position that Abbas did have the power and authority to appoint the prime minister for the new government, a position Hamas has called a failure to meet the terms of the unity deal, which called for the formation of a cabinet of independents and technocrats.

"However, I understand this is no ordinary situation," he added, apparently making room for further negotiations on who will occupy the post.

Nearly two months after the unity deal was signed, there remains no indication when the rival parties will conclude their discussions on the cabinet formation, allowing its mandate to get underway, which includes the reconstruction of Gaza and the release of political prisoners.

Until a new government is announced, Fayyad said, "I shall not evade my responsibilities. I'm here until someone else is in charge of running the government."


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