Know More About Palestine

Tuesday Sept. 20, 2011 10:08 AM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, September 20 (JMCC) - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has again expressed reservations about the Palestinians' expected request for member state status at the United Nations.

Speaking to Der Spiegel, Fayyad said the move was likely to fail and that he would prefer a more inclusive plan, one that would gain the backing of important European allies.

Fayyad was also asked about Palestinian budget crisis and the legitimacy of his own government, which was never elected.

SPIEGEL: Israel is threatening to cease transferring tax money and customs duties to the Palestinian Authority if it proceeds with the membership bid at the UN. You could be out of money very soon.

Fayyad: We're already in the midst of a crisis. The payment of salaries is difficult even now.

SPIEGEL: Would the Palestinian Authority collapse if Israel stopped the flow of money?

Fayyad: We are already reducing our budget in order to substantially reduce our reliance on aid. Some people use the crisis as evidence that we can't exist as our own state. They say: Look, they don't even have money to pay salaries. But there are dozens of countries that have existed for decades that have had to live through similar crises. Does that disqualify them from being states? No.

SPIEGEL: This is your fourth year as prime minister and yet you have never been elected. Is Palestine democratic?

Fayyad: I consider myself to be a democrat. And therefore, I was excited when there was an agreement between the two Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, to end the separation between them. We have to overcome this separation in order to become a fully functioning democracy.

SPIEGEL: Will there soon be a joint government with Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip?

Fayyad: Why not? What are we going to do? Split up the country? I am someone who looks forward to the day when reconciliation happens.







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