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New Palestinian government to be unveiled Thursday: PM

Update: June, 06/2013 - 11:48

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories – Incoming Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said he would announce the composition of his government on Thursday evening and reiterated that his cabinet would govern only for a transitional period.

Hamdallah also said that most ministers in the existing cabinet would retain their posts.

"Consultations are in the final stage and hopefully we will announce the new government on Thursday evening," Hamdallah told Voice of Palestine radio on Wednesday.

"We agreed with the president that most ministers would remain in place," said Hamdallah, who was appointed on Sunday by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

He succeeds Salam Fayyad, who resigned in mid April after months of difficult relations with Abbas, and whose term as caretaker prime minister ended on Sunday night.

Hamdallah reiterated that his government would rule only for "a transitional period" until formation of a unity government comprising Abbas's Fatah faction and the rival Hamas movement.

Such a coalition is laid out in as-yet unfulfilled unity agreements signed in Cairo in 2011 and in Doha the following year.

At a meeting in Cairo on May 14, Abbas and Hamas set a three-month timeframe to implement key provisions of the 2011 agreement.

"Let's be optimists and hope that we can achieve a unity government on 14 August, and I will do everything in my power to do so," Hamdallah said.

"I ask all Palestinian factions to work together to end this sad situation of division."

"The (new) government will not necessarily have the same policy as the previous one," he said, adding that after unveiling it he would hold a press conference on its "policy on all issues concerning Palestinian citizens." – afp

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