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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has urged members of the Palestinian Legislative Council to approve the cabinet of Prime Minister-designate Mahmud Abbas in a speech on 29 April. He said that council members must "watch and question" the new government to help develop Palestinian democracy. He called on the new government to work towards peace and resume national dialogue and called for the implementation of the road map. Palestinian security services are ready to assume their duties, he said. The following is an excerpt from a speech by PNA Chairman at a Palestinian Legislative Council session in Ramallah on 29 April, published by Palestinian news agency Wafa web site; subheadings inserted editorially:
Ramallah, 29 April: President Yasir Arafat, chairman of the PLO Executive Committee and president of the Palestinian National Authority, today called on the Palestinian Legislative Council [PLC] to approve the new government programme after discussing in accordance with the Palestinian constants and national goals. He also called on the PLC to give a vote of confidence in the government in accordance with the democratic rules and practices observed by the Palestinians and the parliaments of the democratic states worldwide. President Arafat said this in a speech he delivered at a PLC session at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah today...
The following is the full text of his speech:
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And we wished to be gracious to those who were being depressed in the land, to make them leaders (in faith) and make them heirs to establish a firm place for them in the land. [Koranic verse]
Brother Ahmad Quray, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council; sister and brother members of the PLC; members of the Arab and foreign diplomatic corps accredited to the National Authority:
I greet you all in the …