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Palestinian PM Qurai Forms New Government

Palestinian PM Qurai Forms New Government, Washington Criticizes

RAMALLAH, Palestine, November 10, 2003 (IPC + Agencies)-- Palestinian Prime Minister, Ahmad Qurai, declared Sunday that he has finished discussions with concerned parties over the formation of a new government.

The new government is expected to include a number of new faces along with a newly created ministerial post (minister for women affairs), as PM Qurai will keep the portfolios of information and Waqf, WAFA reported.

Informed sources said the new government will include 24 ministers, with Dr. Nabil Sha’th as Foreign Minister, Salam Fayad as Finance Minister and Sa'eb Eriqat as Negotiations Affairs Minister, while both the information and Waqf portfolios will be kept for PM Qurai.

The Palestinian premiere had declared that both Palestinian ministries of energy and natural resources have been turned into an independent service.

Qurai called on the Palestinain Legislative Council (PLC) to convene for a confidence vote on the new government next Wednesday.

Rafiq Alnatsha, Head of the PLC, was reported as saying that he received a request from PM Qurai regarding the convention of a special PLC session on a confidence vote for “approval of a new government”.

From its part, the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) considered the formation of a new government as a positive step that would enable the executive authority to assume its responsibilities under such critical and serious conditions.

The United States criticized yesterday Prime Minster Ahmad Qurai’s newly formed government.

“The prime minister must have control of all of the security forces and Washington insists that terrorists and military organizations not under the control of the Palestinian Authority be disarmed and dismantled, “ U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Amanda Batt, said Sunday.

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