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last updated Jan. 9, 2010 10:52 AM (EST+7)
Ziad Abu Amr
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Palestinian politics foreign affairs diplomacy factions Palestinian affairs
Ziad Abu Amr, an independent, was minister for foreign affairs in the national unity government from March until June 2007.

News on Ziad Abu Amr
Israel considers law prioritizing Jerusalem developmentOct. 26, 2010


Abu Amr was born in 1950 in Gaza City. He holds a BA in English literature and language from Damascus University, Syria, and an MA and PhD in comparative politics from Georgetown University in the USA. In 1985 he began teaching political science at Birzeit University. He has published several books, including Islamic fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza, Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad.

In 1996 he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to represent Gaza City as an independent candidate. He was chairman on the PLC’s political committee. In 2003, he was nominated as minister of culture in the new Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet led by then Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

Abu Amr is involved in the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine in Washington and the Center for Palestine and Research Studies in Nablus. He is also president of the Palestinian Council of Foreign Relations.

He is a reform-minded politician who has mentored and shares philosophies with the ‘young guard’ of Palestinian leaders in the PLC (who oppose the ‘old guard’ Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) revolutionaries loyal to Yasser Arafat). He has been critical of the PA administration and security services. He is a proponent of democratic elections and has suggested that Hamas and Islamic Jihad should be allowed representation as opposition groups, believing that this would make them more accountable for their actions.

He is considered as widely respected among the ranks of both Fateh and Hamas for organizing talks between the 12 major Palestinian factions to determine the direction of al-Aqsa Intifada in July and August 2002. He was highly critical of the PA cabinet formed in October 2002.
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