Abbas asks Palestinian PM to rethink resignation

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Two aides say Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked his prime minister to reconsider his decision to step down after just two weeks in office.

The aides say Abbas met with Rami Hamdallah on Friday, a day after Hamdallah submitted his resignation because he felt his deputy was overstepping his authority.

The aides say Abbas asked Hamdallah to decide by Saturday if he is serious about resigning. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the meeting with reporters.

Abbas appointed Hamdallah, a university dean and political novice, earlier this month in an apparent move to consolidate power. The pick could backfire and turn into a political distraction at a time when Abbas is focusing on a U.S. push to restart negotiations with Israel.

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