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Fayyad calls it a day: Paper

WAM Abu Dhabi, Apr 15th, 2013 (WAM)–Salem Fayyad had always been the unsung hero of the Palestinian struggle. The technocrat, who worked selflessly to introduce reforms in the body politick of the infant state even much before it was realised in geopolitical terms, has hardly been recognised.

“The Palestinian Prime Minister who tendered his resignation after a long-drawn tussle with President Mahmoud Abbas was at odds with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority,” opined English language local daily, Khaleej Times, in its editorial on Monday.

It added that the bureaucracy of the Ramallah-based dispensation had quarrels to pick with Fayyad, and his synopsis of accountability finances, investment and governance was always put to test.

He had threatened to quit previously on several occasions, “reportedly over the direction and handling of economic policy. But it seems Fayyad has called it a day at a time when his leadership skills were most required, as the Fatah and Hamas had reconciled their differences, and the statehood subject was up for a practical test.” Fayyad, the paper continued, a former International Monetary Fund official, is widely respected by the international donors for his transparency and pro-reforms abilities, and was seen as an apt hand in directing the Palestinian movement.

“But the irony is that he was not quite popular among the diplomatic circles, and reportedly kept the wheelers-and-dealers at an arms distance. He was nonetheless a liberal at heart and politically kept himself aloof from Fatah and Hamas inclinations. Perhaps that was why he was always seen as one who is there to run the administration on a day-to-day basis, and had little to do with decision-making at the highest level of governance,” it added.

His departure, however, “is a major blow for United States efforts to kick-start the long-stalled peace process with Israel, and will act as an impediment with the loss of an articulate and able administrator. Fayyad who had put in so much for the state in Utopia should wait a little longer before bidding it adieu.,” the paper concluded.

WAM/MN