Source Pravda.Ru

Arafat challenged to share some power with his PM

The United States Secretary of State Colin Powell challenged the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to give up his powers in the name of stability in the Gaza Strip.

According to Reuters, Secretary of State blamed Arafat for a leadership crisis in which his prime minister has threatened to quit because of a lack of power to undertake reforms, protesters have rallied against cronyism and militants kidnapped local officials.

"It is chaotic at the moment," Powell told reporters. "We believe the correct path forward involves Mr. Arafat yielding power, real executive power to a prime minister, for that prime minister to do what is needed for the Palestinian community."

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, also said that the deteriorating government and security situation in the Gaza Strip should serve as impetus for the Palestinian Authority to give more power to the prime minister.

Javier Solana said the situation in Gaza seemed to be improving Tuesday after a meeting between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and his prime minister

Late last week, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia presented his resignation to Arafat amid growing chaos in Gaza ahead of a planned Israeli pullout and discontent over disorder in the Palestinian security services. Arafat rejected the resignation, and Qureia said Tuesday he would stay on in a caretaker capacity.

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