Abbas in first public appearance since rumours of ill health

2016-01-07 06:42
Mahmoud Abbas (AFP)

Mahmoud Abbas (AFP)

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Ramallah - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has made his first public appearance since rumours began circulating last week that the 80-year-old was rushed to a hospital with serious heart problems.

Abbas's office has dismissed the rumours as baseless, and on Wednesday he delivered a 40-minute televised speech to Christian leaders in biblical Bethlehem.

Abbas's office had urged journalists to attend to ensure maximum coverage.

The rumours of ill health have drawn attention to the lack of a successor or a process for picking one.

His aides alleged the source of the rumours was Mohammed Dahlan, a former top aide seen as one of several possible contenders to succeed Abbas.

In Wednesday's speech, Abbas dismissed Israeli concerns that his self-rule government might collapse.

Read more on:    mahmoud abbas  |  palestine

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