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Ahmed Qurei

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Ahmed Ali Mohammed Qurei (or Qureia; أحمد علي محمد قريع), also known as Abu Alaa (أبو علاء) (born 1937) was the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and is currently Prime Minister and holds the security portfolio of the Palestinian Authority.

He was born in Abu Dis (near Jerusalem) in 1937 to a relatively wealthy family. He joined the Fatah wing of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1968. As a banker, he used his expertise during the 1970s as the director of the PLO's foreign investment branch and director-general of the PLO's economic branch, helping to make the organization one of the largest employers in Lebanon. He followed Yasser Arafat to Tunis after the PLO was forced to leave Lebanon. As more senior leaders died, Qurei rose to prominence and was elected to the Fatah Central Committee in August 1989.

As a member of the Central Committee, Qurei was instrumental in negotiating the Oslo Accords. He held various posts in the first Palestinian Authority cabinets including Minister of Economy & Trade and Minister of Industry. He was also responsible for a development plan for the Palestinian territories submitted to the World Bank in 1993. He also founded and became director of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR) in 1993 in order to help garner money from international donors. Soon after, he was elected to the PLC and was elected Speaker in March 2000.

After the resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas on September 6, 2003, Arafat nominated him to fill the post. Qurei said he would only accept the job if Washington "guarantees Israeli compliance with a U.S.-backed peace plan, including a halt to military strikes."

He was appointed by an emergency decree on October 5 2003, sworn in on October 7, but already on October 12 threatened his resignation due to a dispute with Arafat over control of the security services. The emergency cabinet's term expired on November 4 and Qurei declared that he was willing to lead a new cabinet provided the support of the parliament could be obtained. He obtained this approval on November 12. On July 17, 2004, he submitted his resignation amid growing chaos in the Gaza Strip characterized by the kidnapping of Palestinian security officials, including the Chief of Police for the Gaza Strip and five Frenchmen. Arafat refused to accept his resignation, reportedly drawing a giant 'X' over Qurei's letter of resignation.

After Yasser Arafat granted Qurei control over parts of the security apparatus, one of his requested powers in order to carry out reforms, Qurei retracted his resignation on July 27, 2004 stating: "I am satisfied that President Arafat is serious this time, that it is not just words but that this time there will be action." Arafat has retained control over the bulk of a dozen security services. Ahmed Qurei and other critics claim that these organizations exhibit internal corruption and lawlessness; United States-led mediators have blamed them for preventing the advance of the "Road map for peace". Arafat acted after the Gaza Strip experienced an unprecedented explosion of public unrest and demands for reforms, including elections. [1] (http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=UIKOBLLSMJLF2CRBAEZSFEY?type=topNews&storyID=5786933)

After Arafat's death and Abu Mazen's subsequent victory in the Palestinian presidential election of 2005, Qurei was asked to continue in his post and form a new cabinet. Due to repeated demands by Fatah officials and PLC members to make the new cabinet more reform-minded, the vote of confidence in was repeatedly delayed. It was finally passed on February 24, 2005 after Qurei revised the list of ministers to accommodate these demands.

References

de:Ahmed Kurei nl:Ahmed Qurei pl:Ahmed Korei ru:Ахмед Куреи zh:库赖

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