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Abbas to form new Palestinian gov't within weeks: report

RAMALLAH (Xinhua) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced Saturday that he intends to form a new government within two to three weeks, according to local media.

The Bethlehem-based news agency Maan quoted Abbas as saying on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held in Jordan that he will announce the new cabinet lineup within two or three weeks.

Abbas didn't give any more details on the new government that will replace that of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who resigned several weeks ago.

Senior Palestinian officials said Thursday that Abbas began intensive contacts and consultations on the formation of the new government.

The executive committee of Palestine Liberation Organization and central committee of Abbas' Fatah Party are supposed to convene next week to debate the formation of the new government.

An official Palestinian source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that there are three candidates for the prime minister's post: Mohammed Mustafa, former chairman of the Palestinian Investment Fund, prominent academic Rami al-Hamdallah and Mohamed Ishteya, a member of Fatah's central committee.

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The source unveiled that Nabil Qasis, finance minister in Fayyad's government, will most probably be chosen to be the finance minister in the new cabinet.  

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