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US intends to work with Palestinian unity government

12:01 PM Jun 01, 2019 | Free Press Journal Correspondant

Washington:  The US intends to work with the new Palestinian unity government, but will monitor its policies closely, the State Department said Monday.

“At this point, it appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas,” Xinhua quoted State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki as saying at a press briefing. “Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government.”

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The Palestinian national unity government was sworn in Monday before Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah after a reconciliation deal between the Fatah party and Islamic Hamas movement in April.

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Abbas said the new government is committed to previous agreements signed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation, reiterating that it is the sole representative of the Palestinians.

Psaki said Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the US stance on the new government earlier Monday.

On Sunday, Netanyahu urged the world not to recognise the Palestinian unity government, adding that “Hamas is a terror organisation which calls for the destruction of Israel”.

At Monday’s briefing, Psaki also warned that the US will be judging the new government “by its actions”.

“We will continue to evaluate the composition and policies of the new government, and if needed, will calibrate our approach,” she said.

The spokesperson added that the US will continue to provide aid to the Palestinians, which, according to a Congressional Research Service report, totaled about $440 million in the last fiscal year.

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