Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010

Salam Fayyad

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's uniqueness strikes you as soon as you meet him — a passionate advocate of the Palestinian cause with a clear vision of the unequivocal, nonviolent path to statehood and peace with Israel. In his three years in office, he has greatly strengthened the capacity of Palestinian government ministries and the security services despite both physical and political constraints. His reforms have led to dramatic improvements in security and the economy in the West Bank: Palestinians can move around more freely, jobs have been created, civil servants receive a regular salary, and people generally feel safer. These strides, as well as the stringent fiscal measures introduced by his government, are mighty accomplishments that are recognized by the international community and Israelis alike.

In August 2009, Fayyad, 57, laid out a program to build the apparatus of a Palestinian state within two years, proving that he doesn't hesitate to lead from the front, often with great personal courage. It is this conviction — and his unquestionable personal integrity — that allows him to keep going in the face of daunting odds.

Blair is the representative of the Quartet on the Middle East. He was Britain's Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007

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