Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas submitted his resignation in a letter to Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat on Saturday. Arafat would have to accept the resignation for it to take effect.
"Arafat is still studying Abu Mazen's resignation," national security adviser Jibril Rajoub told reporters. Before his comments, Palestinian officials said Arafat had accepted the resignation.
Earlier it was reported that Abbas (Abu Mazen) intends to declare his resignation. The New York Times quoted four senior Palestinian officials as saying that Palestinian officials were trying to persuade him to change his mind.
Abbas has previously threatened to quit without following through.
The paper quoted Abbas aides as saying that he had concluded that there was no choice but to resign, as a result of his confrontations on the extent of powers with Yasser Arafat and the Fatah movement.
The aides said that Arafat, under international pressure, may feel forced to bring back Abbas, or another prime minister, with guaranteed authority.
One senior Palestinian official told the paper that Abbas appears to be calculating that his resignation will compel not only Arafat but also Israel and the Bush administration to take new steps to save the peace effort.
"It's in everybody's interest now to focus, and to see what can be done," the official said.
The paper quoted Palestinian legislators as saying that they were warned in recent days by Bush administration officials that if Abbas' government collapsed, the White House might walk away from the peace plan, known as the road map. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )