Abbas 'will seek to dissuade' premier from resigning

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will meet prime minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah on Friday evening in a bid to dissuade him from resigning, a source close to the premier said.

Hamdallah presented his resignation on Thursday, only two weeks after taking office, in the latest crisis for the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

"A meeting will be held at 6 pm (1500 GMT) between Abbas and Hamdallah, in which Abbas will try to convince Hamdallah to withdraw his resignation," the source told AFP.

On Thursday evening, Hamdallah met top officials of the president's office and the head of Palestinian intelligence, who tried to "convince him to withdraw his resignation," the source added.

"There they decided to hold a meeting today (Friday) between him and Abbas in the president's headquarters in Ramallah to solve the crisis."