Qurei government takes constitutional oath
Palestine, Politics, 2/25/2005
The Palestinian government led by Ahmad Qurei on Thursday took its constitutional oath on Thursday before President Mahmoud Abbas, while Arab and international circles in addition to Israel welcomed the new government considering it as representing a step towards a better future for the peace process in the Middle East.
The Israeli foreign minister Silvan Shalom described the approval of the formation of the Palestinian government chaired by Ahmad Qurei as marking the beginning of a positive phase, considering that time is ripe to take what he called difficult and strategic decisions for a better understanding with Israel.
Shalom expressed in joint statements with the secretary general of NATO, Ban De Hope Schiffer, currently visiting Israel, that the new Palestinian government will pursue a completely different policy to chase what he called extremists and encourage moderates in order to finalize peace with Israel.
In Paris, the spokesman for the French foreign ministry welcomed the approval of the new Palestinian government and expressed France's hope that the Qurei government will be able to make necessary reforms and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East according to the Roadmap peace plan.
The Palestinian parliament on Thursday approved at a great majority the formation of the new Palestinian leadership which was formed by the prime minister Ahmad Qurei. Some 54 parliamentarians voted in confidence for the new government while other 10 voted against it and other four abstained.
Among the main appointments was choosing Naser al-Qudawa as a foreign minister, Salam Fayyad keeps the ministry of finance, Lt. Gen. Naser Youssef the ministry of the Interior and national security. Appointment which the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat ever rejected. Ghassan al-Khatib was given the ministry of planning after he had the post of the minister of labor, Muhammad Dahlan is the civil affairs minister and Mazin Sanqart the minister of the economy.
The presidency secretary general al-Tayeb Abdul Rahim said in a press statement that merit is the base for choosing members of the government noting taking into consideration geographical inclination of the ministers inside the Palestinian territories.
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