Power to the New Prime Minister

(Washington Post) - Dennis Ross For the first time in its history, the Palestinian Authority has a prime minister - Mahmoud Abbas, better known as Abu Mazin. We don't yet know if Abbas will have real powers and, if he does, whether he can translate those powers into a genuine capability to transform the situation. Neither side expects to engage in any real negotiation with the U.S. over the road map at this stage because both know we are preoccupied with Iraq. That very preoccupation gives them a reason to do what they can in developing understandings to transform the situation on the ground - stopping the violence and easing controls - over the next several weeks. Yet with real understandings between the two sides, there is probably no need for the road map.

2003-03-25 00:00:00

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