PLO keeps Abbas as Palestinian president

Abbas has been under pressure from the United States and the European Union to resume talks, frozen for the past year despite no progress over Jewish settlements.

PLO keeps Abbas as Palestinian president
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) on Wednesday extended until further notice the tenure of Mahmoud Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority, PLO officials told Reuters.

Members of the PLO Central Council said Abbas, whose term ends on Jan. 25, will stay on until elections can be held, extending the tenure of the leader who heads the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

The PLO Central Council also decided to extend the term of the Palestinian Legislative Council -- a dysfunctional parliament in which Hamas won a majority in 2006 elections.
but has been unable to meet since 2007 due to Israeli arrests of Palestinian MPs

Abbas had repeatedly said he will not run again for the presidency but no date has been set for a future vote.

"The president has decided to stay in his post," Tawfiq al-Tirawi, a PLO Central Council member, told Reuters.

The Central Council also decided there should be no resumption of peace talks with Israel until a full stop to its settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, Tirawi said.

"We will not go to negotiations until Israel fully halts settlement activities and agrees to a term of reference for such negotiations," he said.

Abbas has been under pressure from the United States and the European Union to resume talks, frozen for the past year despite no progress over Jewish settlements.

Abbas replaced Yasser Arafat as head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority after his death in 2004.




Reuters
Last Mod: 16 Aralık 2009, 15:00
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