In Potential Shift to Next Generation, Abbas Appoints New PA Ambassador to U.S.

The timing of the appointment of Husam Zomlot to the key role may indicate as to Abbas' desire to inject new blood into the Palestinian Authority, ridden by conflict between Fatah's old guard and its interim and younger generations.

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Dr. Husam Zomlot speaking at the HaaretzQ with NIF conference in New York, December 2015.
Dr. Husam Zomlot speaking at the HaaretzQ with NIF conference in New York, December 2015.Credit: Chandler West

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has instructed to appoint a new Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United States.

The designated ambassador is Husam Zomlot, who in recent months has been serving as Abbas' adviser for strategic affairs. Zomlot is among the younger generation of Fatah members, and prior to his appointment as a strategic affairs adviser served as a deputy in charge of Fatah's foreign relations and stood in as Fatah's acting international relations commissioner for Dr. Nabil Sha'ath.

Zolmot, who received his Ph.D in economics from the University of London and held senior roles in the PA embassy in London from 2003 to 2009, served as Abbas' interlocutor in public diplomacy meetings and in conveying Palestinian messages to the international community, regularly holding meetings with Congress members and senior American officials.

Zomlot will be replacing Dr. Maen Erekat, who is set to be appointed as the Palestinian ambassador to London. According to Palestinian sources, the new round of Foreign Ministry appointments is scheduled to take place in coming months.

The timing of Zomlot's appointment, on the eve of the Fatah Central Committee's convention, may indicate as to Abbas' desire to inject new, younger blood to the Palestinian Authority. A conflict between Fatah's old guard and its interim and younger generations has so far prevented the committee from convening. 

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