Abbas: we announce 'end' of Palestinian division
RAMALLAH - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas hailed the "end" of Palestinian division as a new government took its oath Monday under a unity deal between leaders in the West Bank and Gaza.
"Today, with the formation of a national consensus government, we announce the end of a Palestinian division that has greatly damaged our national case," Abbas said at his Ramallah headquarters after the new cabinet was sworn in.
Gaza's Hamas rulers also hailed the establishment of a national unity government for all Palestinians.
"We hail the national consensus government, which represents all the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
The Islamist movement Hamas and the Western-backed Palestine Liberation Organisation, dominated by Abbas's secular Fatah party, signed a surprise reconciliation agreement in April to end years of rivalry.
During his telephone call with Abbas, US Secretary of State John Kerry "expressed concern about Hamas's role in any such government and the importance that the new government commit to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements with it," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
"President Abbas assured the secretary that the new government would be committed to these principles."
Kerry stressed that the United States would "judge any government based on its composition, policies, and actions," Psaki added in a statement.