Fayyad to stay on as Palestinian premier
Salam Fayyad on Tuesday dismissed reports that he was thinking of stepping down as Palestinian prime minister after the Islamist Hamas movement rejected him as a candidate to run the new government, dpa reported.
The Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas had insisted on Fayyad staying as prime minister. Abbas told a Lebanese television station on Monday that since he would name the new government, his only choice would be Fayyad, regardless of Hamas's position.
The move caused concern that the national reconciliation agreement that Fatah and Hamas concluded on May 4, and which was supposed to result in a government of consensus, may not work because of strong differences over Fayyad.
"The official and public reaction made me proud," Fayyad said of news that he was the public's favorite for the post of prime minister.
"I was pleased by it because I saw in it an approval of an approach and a strategy for the next stage," he said.
He said Palestinians should approach a planned United Nations resolution calling for an independent Palestinian state in September united, since no one would accept a Palestinian state as long as the Fatah-ruled West Bank remains divided from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.