Arafat swears in cabinet

07 October 2003
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat swore in six of the eight members of Palestinian Authority's emergency cabinet on 7 October, with Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) as Prime Minister. Qurei faced his first crisis as prime minister when Nasser Yousef and Jawad Tibi refused to participate in the swearing-in ceremony in front of Arafat due to a dispute over the scope of their authority, reported Israel's Haaretz daily. Soon after the ceremony, Abu Ala announced that the eight-strong cabinet would serve its full one-month term, after which it would apply for a one-month extension. Qurei said that the new members were ready 'to sit with [the Israelis] to discuss reaching a comprehensive ceasefire'. He added that the cabinet was committed to ending the present 'chaos' and pushing ahead with the peace roadmap, and that it would aim to 'assert control over security'.

The make up of the emergency cabinet is a compromise between new members close to Qurei and members of the previous cabinet of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). The members are:

Prime Minister: Ahmed Qurei

Ministers:

Foreign Affairs: Nabil Shaath

Finance: Salam Fayad

Interior: Nasser Yousef

Chief Negotiator: Saeb Erekat

Education: Nabil Abul Hummus

Local Affairs: Jamal Shobaki

Jawad Tibi and Abdel Rahman Hamad (positions not given)

(MEED 1:10:03)

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