Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer has a new and unexpected supporter in his bid to head the International Monetary Fund: the Palestinian prime minister.

Salam Fayyad says Stanley Fischer would make a "great managing director" for the world financial body and is a "superb human being."

The Palestinian Authority does not participate in the selection process, but Fayyad said if he had a vote, he would cast it for Fischer.

Fayyad, a U.S.-trained economist and former senior IMF official, told the Associated Press on Sunday that he has known Fischer for two decades, since the two worked together at the IMF.

A Zambia native and internationally respected economist, Fischer has headed the Bank of Israel since 2005. He announced his candidacy for the top IMF job on Saturday.