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New Palestinian Cabinet Approved - 2003-11-12

The Palestinian parliament has approved the new government of Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, ending months of political instability and raising hopes for peace.

The Palestinian Legislative Council voted 46-13 in favor of Mr. Qureia's Cabinet.

Five lawmakers abstained during the parliament's meeting Wednesday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The vote ended months of political uncertainty over the formation of a new Palestinian government and appeared to raise hopes for a resumption of peace talks with Israel.

The parliament gave its show of support for Mr. Qureia's Cabinet after both he and the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, made impassioned pleas to end the violence.

Mr. Arafat said that Israel had the right to live in security with a future Palestinian state.

Mr. Qureia called for an immediate and comprehensive cease-fire and a return to peace talks based on President George Bush's vision of a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.