Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Thursday, January 6, 2011     GET REAL

New U.S. security coordinator seeks to end
'bad blood' with Palestinian Authority

RAMALLAH — The new U.S. security coordinator is seeking to revitalize cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.


U.S. Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller has been meeting PA leaders and security commanders since he arrived in October, Middle East Newsline reported. Palestinian sources said Moeller, who replaced Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, has sought to reassure PA officials, particularly Prime Minister Salam Fayad, that he would not intervene in policy.

"There was bad blood between the PA and Dayton and this has been the first task of the new U.S. general," a Palestinian source said.

Also In This Edition

The sources said Moeller, with a staff of nearly 50, has pledged to serve as a faciliator for PA security operations and training. They said the general, a former senior officer in U.S. Central Command, has been planning for the expansion of the training of the National Security Forces in Jordan this year.

Moeller has focused on programs to develop the National Security Forces, with 7,000 officers, and the Presidential Guard, with about 2,500 members. PG was said to have undergone a range of non-lethal training, particularly in anti-riot and rapid reaction, while NSF was being turned into a paramilitary force similar to the European Gendarmerie.

Dayton's last year in the West Bank was said to have been fraught with tension. The sources said Dayton was boycotted by virtually the entire PA leadership with the exception of Interior Minister Said Abu Ali.

At one point, Fayad himself was said to have lobbied in Washington for the replacement of Dayton. The sources said Dayton was highly interventional, opposing PA anti-crime campaigns in such cities as Hebron and Nablus, and often tended to side with Israel.

The sources said Moeller, an Air Force officer, has been careful to maintain a low profile. They said the U.S. general has refused newspaper interviews or public appearances until he cements his relationship with both Israel and the PA.

"He will probably stick with the technical issues and leave the statements to his superiors in Washington," another Palestinian source said.

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.