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World - Middle East

Leading Palestinian spokeswoman Ashrawi resigns from Cabinet

August 6, 1998
Web posted at: 6:19 a.m. EDT (1019 GMT)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- Leading Palestinian negotiator and spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi has resigned from the Palestinian Cabinet.

Her decision comes just one day after Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat named her tourism minister in a new Cabinet.

Ashrawi was higher education minister in the previous Palestinian Cabinet, whose resignation Arafat announced in June following months of pressure from legislators angry over alleged corruption and mismanagement in the executive.

Arafat named his new team on Wednesday but stunned legislators by keeping ministers they had wanted fired from an expanded cabinet that included 10 additional ministers.

"I believe when people called for change they didn't ask for additions. They asked for change in the...status quo, but what we see now is maintaining what existed (and) adding people to it," Ashrawi told Reuters on Wednesday after the reshuffle.

Ashrawi made a name for herself worldwide as the spokeswoman for the Palestinian delegation to the historic Arab-Israeli peace talks launched in Madrid in 1991. Ever since, she has been a leading voice of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Reuters contributed to this report.
Struggle For Peace
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