Gibbs on Abbas Quitting: Meh « The Washington Independent
The moderate leader of the Palestinian Authority announces that he’s not going to stand for re-election — largely because doing the Obama administration a solid has wrecked his political standing — and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, as a man once put it, files his nails while they drag the lake. From today’s White House press briefing:
Q: Okay. President — Palestinian President Abbas has said he will not run for reelection in January. What’s the level of concern of the administration that it might lose a potential negotiating partner at a time when the peace process is already having a hard time getting off the ground?
MR. GIBBS: Look, we have tremendous respect for President Abbas. He has been an important and historic leader for the Palestinian people and a true partner for the United States. I think he has worked to better the lives of Palestinians. I would simply say that whatever he decides, we look forward to continuing to work with him and to continue to — to continue in that collaboration to make the lives of Palestinians better.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Israeli President Shimon Peres is trying to get Abbas not to quit, as are the leaders of Jordan and Egypt. The White House doesn’t seem disturbed. But who comes after Abbas?