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Ahmed Qurei
Arabic: ahmad ¢āliyy muhammad qurī¢
Other spellings: Ahmad; Qurai, Qureia, Kurei, Kureia, Karia
Also called: Abu Ala



Ahmed Qurei

(1937-) Palestinian prime minister 2003-2006, and one of the leading members of the PLO since the 1970's.
Qurei is in favour of peaceful solutions in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He is willing to accept the state of Israel, but demands a full withdrawal to the 1967 borders (see Six-Day War), including the return of East Jerusalem. He has also called for the right of Palestinians to return to their home land in today's Israel, but it appears as if he is willing to make concessions in this matter.
Qurei's main challenge as a prime minister has been determning where his powers start and end. This proved to be the main problem for his predecessor, Mahmoud Abbas (later elected president). Qurei's main struggle with president Yassir Arafat was over the matter of who should control the security services, vital in building the entire nation. Qurei gained a partial victory in this matter, and continued as prime minister.
He has since the middle of the 1990's suffered severely from heart problems, has had a heart attack and undergone surgery to unblock a coronary artery.
Qurei is married with 5 children.

Biography
1937: Born in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, into a wealthy merchant family.
1968: Joins al-Fatah, a wing of the PLO.
1970's: Becomes director of the PLO’s foreign investment arm, later director-general of the PLO’s economic department as well as a member of the financial subcommittee.
1983: With the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon, Qurei follows Arafat to his new station outside Tunis, Tunisia.
1989: Is appointed member of the al-Fatah central committee.
1993: Is central in the negotiations leading up to the Oslo Agreement.
— He has a plan for development in the Palestinian territories presented to the World Bank, which becomes central in both the development and funding of the new Palestinian authority.
1994: Returns to Gaza together with Arafat.
1995: Suffers a heart attack.
1996 January: Is the first to be elected speaker of the 88-member Palestinian Legislative Council.
— Becomes minister of economy and trade.
2003 September 7: Is asked to become prime minister by president Yassir Arafat, after the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, but does not accept before receiving indications from Israel and USA that he will receive their support in the peace process.
October 7: Is appointed Palestine's first prime minister by president Yassir Arafat.
November 4: Receives the support of the Palestinian parliament for his government.
2004 July 17: Following growing chaos on the Gaza Strip, Qurei submits his resignation to president Arafat. Arafat refuses, and Qurei has to continue as prime minister.
July 27: Qurei retracts his resignation, after gaining control over some of the Palestinian security services, which was his initial demand.
October: Arafat becomes fatally ill, and Qurei moves in as one of the effective leaders of Palestine.
2006 February 19: After loosing the elections to Hamas, Qurei steps down as prime minister, and is succeeded by Ismail Haniya.




By Tore Kjeilen