Israeli paper: Palestinian leader confirms Siniora as next ambassador to Washington
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat met during the weekend with east Jerusalem publisher Hanna Siniora and reaffirmed that he would be appointed the next PLO ambassador to Washington, an Israeli daily reported.
Siniora, publisher of The Jerusalem Times and a longtime advocate of coexistence between Jews and Arabs, returned from a visit to Washington last week.
In the course of his visit, Siniora met with US officials and members of the Palestinian community in the United States. One of the goals of the visit was to prepare the ground for the new mission in Washington, the Jerusalem Post reported in its Monday edition.
Arafat reportedly told Siniora he would be dispatched to Washington after the formation of a new Palestinian cabinet. On Sunday, the Palestinian leader asked the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) for an additional four weeks to complete setting up the new cabinet, which is expected to consist of 18 members.
63-year-old Siniora, a Christian from east Jerusalem, is expected to replace the current PLO envoy, Hasan Abdel-Rahman.
Enraged by mounting reports of his impending replacement, Abdel-Rahman has accused Siniora of spreading false news regarding his appointment. Last week he said Siniora was never officially appointed to the Washington position.
However, a top-level Palestinian Authority official Sunday night told the Jerusalem Post it was only a matter of time before an official announcement is made regarding Siniora's appointment. He added that Arafat has already made a decision to send Siniora to the US capital.
"It's not official, but Siniora is going to be our man in Washington," the official said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)