Former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei dies at 86
"Abu Alaa". First Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council,
Palestinian leader Ahmad Qurei "Abu Ala" passed away at the age of 86 after battling illness.
Abu Alaa is a key Palestinian negotiator with the Israelis in the Oslo Accords, the first speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (the interim parliament) and a former prime minister.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mourned "the former prime minister, the former speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the former member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Central Committee of Fatah, Ahmed Qurei," according to WAFA news agency.
The Palestinian president said that "Abu Ala spent his life as a solid fighter defending Palestine, its cause, its people, and its independent national decision," praising his "patriotic and honorable role and struggle and his contributions to the Palestine Liberation Organization and his appreciated work in the institutions of the Palestinian state."
Qurei was born in the town of Abu Dis in Jerusalem in 1937, and joined the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) in 1968, and founded the Samed Foundation in Beirut in the early seventies and served as its general manager until it stopped working permanently in (2007/2008), and assumed the position of Director General of the Department of Economic Affairs and Planning in the Palestine Liberation Organization, and was the Governor of Palestine at the Islamic Development Bank.
He served as a member of Fatah's Central Committee in August 1989, a member of the PLO's Central Council, and a member of the Palestinian National Council.
He was appointed Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry in the first Palestinian Government (1994-1996).
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