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Palestinian leader swears in unity government
Mideast » Israel argues Abbas says “yes to terrorism and no to peace.”
First Published Jun 02 2014 08:14 pm • Last Updated Jun 02 2014 08:26 pm

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At a glance

U.S. and E.U. to work with new Palestinian government

Washington » The West is prepared to work with a new Palestinian government, U.S. and European Union officials said Monday, despite Israeli concerns it gives power and influence to the radical Hamas movement.

Israel maintains Hamas is a terrorist group and has angrily refused to work with a Palestinian unity government that would include Hamas members.

On Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the new government. Hours later, Secretary of State John Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to relay U.S. willingness to work with the new leaders.

Separately, in an Associated Press interview, the EU’s top envoy to the U.S. said Europe was prepared to work with a government backed by Hamas.

“We never said we would not,” Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida said. “It’s a question of substance rather than the question of composition of the government.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. was prepared to continue sending U.S. foreign assistance to the Palestinian Authority and what she described as the “interim technocratic government.”

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