Fayyad Denies Criticizing PA in New York Times Interview

Outgoing Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who was quoted slamming the Palestinian leadership, says was misled by correspondent.

Salam Fayyad has denied criticizing the Palestinian Authority leadership in an interview with the New York Times.

In a statement published on Saturday by the Palestinian Wafa news agency, the prime minister's office said that Fayyad "did not make any statements or conduct any interviews for the New York Times or any other newspaper or agency since his resignation."

In an article published on Friday titled "Fayyad steps down, not out," New York Times correspondent and columnist Roger Cohen quotes Fayyad as saying: "Our story is a story of failed leadership, from way early on… It is incredible that the fate of the Palestinian people has been in the hands of leaders so entirely casual, so guided by spur-of-the-moment decisions… we hold ourselves hostage to our own rhetoric."

In the interview, the Palestinian prime minister also predicted the fall of Fatah, the Palestinian Authority's ruling party. “This party, Fatah, is going to break down, there is so much disenchantment… The system is not taking, the country is suffering. They are not going to change their ways and therefore I must go.”

Fayyad's office asked Cohen not to publish the story as an interview with the prime minister, according to the statement. 

Last month, Fayyad handed President Mahmoud Abbas his resignation following a rift between the two leaders over policy. Western governments supported Fayyad as he was viewed as the architect of Palestinian state-building efforts.