Which Abbas is that exactly?
Parliament Hill reporters were jolted into action early this morning when the press gallery sent out a last minute notice that the president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, was in Ottawa to meet with Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.
News organizations usually get advance notice of visits like this, especially when they involve someone of Abbas' stature. This time they had twenty minutes to get to the photo opportunity on Parliament Hill.
But they were in for a bigger surprise when they arrived at Dion's office. It wasn't Mahmoud Abbas at all. It was his son, Yasser, a special adviser to the Palestinian Authority.
It turns out staffers in the Parliamentary Press Gallery had their wires crossed. They work in two different locations, one on the Hill and the other across the street in the National Press Building.
In transmitting the message about the event from one location to the other, the name Yasser Abbas was abbreviated to Abbas, and someone assumed that Mahmoud was the Abbas in question.
The gallery apologized to Dion's people for the mix-up. But at least the Liberal leader had a better than anticipated turnout for his photo op, on a sleepy summer day.
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