Photostream : Turkish President Abdullah Gul meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Turkish President Abdullah Gul pose for media cameras before their meeting at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. Abbas is in Turkey for a one-day working visit.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

urkey's President Abdullah Gul (R) welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the entrance of the Presidential Palace in Ankara December 6, 2010. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkish President Abdullah Gul (R) welcomes his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas (L) at the entrance of the Presidential Palace in Ankara on December 6, 2010. Mahmud Abbas arrived in Turkey yesterday for a two-day visit to discuss troubled efforts to end the Middle East conflict. AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkish President Abdullah Gul (R) welcomes his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas (L) at the entrance of the Presidential Palace in Ankara on December 6, 2010. Mahmud Abbas arrived in Turkey yesterday for a two-day visit to discuss troubled efforts to end the Middle East conflict. AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Abbas to reshuffle Palestinian government: official

File : Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas looks on during a presser following his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, not pictured, at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010. Talks come within the framework of efforts aimed at reviving the Middle East peace process. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

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RAMALLAH, Nov. 25 (KATAKAMI / Xinhua) — Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will reshuffle the government soon, a Fatah official said Thursday.

Abbas told a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah Wednesday that discussions to carry out the reshuffle have started, said Amin Maqboul, a member of the council.

Meanwhile, another Fatah official said on condition of anonymity that Abbas has agreed with his movement that Salam Fayyad, the current prime minister who is not a Fatah member, would lead the new government.

Fatah has always been demanding a reshuffle to take more senior portfolios into the government. Abbas asked Fayyad to form a government in June 2007, after Islamic Hamas movement routed pro- Abbas forces, ousted Fatah and seized control of the Gaza Strip.

“The ministerial change is a national demand that Fatah strongly supports,” Maqboul said, but he denied that Fatah aimed to take more ministries through the change.

Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of Gaza in 2007, one year after it won the parliamentary elections. The Hamas government, led by Ismail Haneya, which was deposed by Abbas, has refused to recognize the Fayyad government in the West Bank. (*)

U.K. Foreign Secretary urges Palestinians to rejoin peace talks

Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyau meets British Foreign Minister William Hague on November 4, 2010 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Willian Hague is on a two-day official visit to Israel his first as foreign secretary. Diplomatic tension rose after a high-level security and defence meeting was cancelled on November 3, 2010 due to a row over universal jurisdiction legislation in the UK. (Photo Moshe Milner/GPO/Getty Images)

 

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November 13, 2010 (KATAKAMI / HAARETZ) — Ahead of trip to U.S. next week, William Hague calls on Mahmoud Abbas to return to stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as soon as possible.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged Palestinians to rejoin Middle East peace talks, before discussions in the U.S. next week.

Hague said he told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call on Saturday that he was disappointed by Israeli plans to build new Jewish homes in East Jerusalem.

But he urged Abbas to return to the stalled talks as soon as possible. He said he would discuss the situation with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton during a visit to Washington next week.

U.S.-sponsored direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down on September 26 when a 10-month Israeli freeze on West Bank settlement construction expired. Abbas has said he would not conduct peace talks with Israel while settlement construction is taking place.

Earlier this month, Hague visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in his first visit to the region since taking office in May. (*)

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