UN Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said on Thursday that he supports Hamas and Fatah's efforts at unity, saying they were "overdue."

"Reunification is essential for achieving a two-state solution that should be reached through negotiations," Serry said in a statement, adding that he hopes that "reconciliation will now take place in a manner that promotes the cause of peace."

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On Wednesday, following a series of secret meetings in Cairo and Damascus over the past few weeks, Hamas and Fatah announced that they struck a deal to form a “national unity” government, and hold elections within a year.

The European Union on Thursday said that it would need to "study the details" of the deal, however it hinted that it would prefer Fatah to have the upper hand.

"We have consistently called for reconciliation and peace under the authority of [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas as a way to end the division between the West Bank and Gaza and we have also consistently underlined the need for security and stability across the region," said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Ashton's spokesman went on to say that she will be talking to partners both within the EU and the region in order to study the details of the agreement further.

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