peace hopes buoy investors

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    Peace hopes buoy investors

    Stock futures rise after Sharon says Arafat's death may mark a Middle East 'turning point.'
    November 11, 2004: 6:17 AM EST



    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was raising hopes among investors Thursday that there may be an opening for peace in the long-troubled Middle East.

    U.S. stock futures turned higher early Thursday soon after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that recent events, including Arafat's death, "present a historic turning point in the Middle East," according to Reuters. Sharon also was quoted as saying Israel would seek to "reach a political settlement with the Palestinians, without delay."

    Oil prices fell overnight, with U.S. crude futures down 66 cents to $48.20 a barrel in electronic trading, retreating after Wednesday's late run-up. Brent oil futures lost 37 cents to $44.38 a barrel in London.


    Mahmoud Abbas elected PLO leader
    Thursday, November 11, 2004 Posted: 5:17 AM EST (1017 GMT)

    Arafat named Abbas his first prime minister in April 2003.

    Mahmoud Abbas elected chief of the Palestine Liberation Organization.


    (CNN) -- Former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has been elected chief of the Palestine Liberation Organization, as expected, following an anonymous vote by the PLO executive committee, according to Palestinian officials.

    Abbas was serving as acting PLO head after Arafat -- the previous PLO chief -- fell ill.

    Arafat named Abbas his first prime minister in April 2003 and spent the next four months in a power struggle with the 69-year-old PLO secretary-general before Abbas resigned the following September.

    Encouraged by Abbas' appointment, the United States presented the "road map" to peace.

    The peace plan -- backed by the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia -- called for steps on both sides aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and establishing an independent Palestinian state.

    Abbas, who repeatedly said he did not want to be a figurehead prime minister, was a behind-the-scenes man in the lead-up to the 1993 Oslo accords and worked with many of the discussion groups dealing with other accords.

    Abbas called for a halt to attacks on Israel after the second Intifada began in fall 2000.



























 
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