Ahmed Badawi

Abu Mazen as Prime Minister

A Capacity Assessment

SWP Comment 2003/C 10, July 2003, 8 Pages

In the two months following the appointment of Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), significant moves have been made, indicating that the deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be resolved at long last, paving the way for a final agreement to end the decade-old dispute over the territory of historic Palestine. A new peace plan, the Road Map, was formally released, and although a spate of violence threatened to suffocate the initiative in its infancy, Palestinian armed groups eventually announced a truce; in turn the Israeli government began to withdraw from parts of the Gaza strip and Bethlehem, as a prelude to redeploying the Israeli Defence Forces back to their pre-September 2000 positions. It is important at this juncture to adopt positive expectations. It is equally important to be realistic about the formidable challenges that still lie ahead, and about the capacity of Abu Mazen to meet these challenges.

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