Abbas: Palestinian national unity gov't needed to manage Gaza, W. Bank aid

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February 24, 2009 18:01

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday a new national unity government that includes Hamas must be in place and internationally recognized to manage humanitarian aid for Gaza and the West Bank. Past efforts to form a unity government have failed. Reconciliation talks are scheduled to begin in Egypt later this week between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Fatah, which controls the West Bank. Abbas said one reason previous unity governments failed was because key powers, including Israel and the United States, refused to accept a coalition that included Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. "This (new unity) government must have the acceptance and recognition of all parties," said Abbas, appearing at a brief news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.


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