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Middle East Quartet welcomes unity government

June 4, 2014 5:25 P.M. (Updated: June 4, 2014 8:10 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Middle East Quartet's special envoy, Tony Blair, on Wednesday called Palestinian premier Rami Hamdallah to congratulate him on the formation of a new unity government.

The PA said in a statement that Blair encouraged the new government to commit to previous international agreements.

Hamdallah thanked the Quartet for its support and said that the new cabinet is working to prepare the ground for presidential and legislative elections.

The Quartet is the latest international body to throw its weight behind the formation of a unity government, with the EU and the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, having already issued their support.

The United States publicly offered its backing for the government several hours after it was sworn in, much to the ire of the Israeli government.

"At this point, it appears that president Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

British Foreign Minister William Hague also welcomed the unity government, saying that "reuniting Gaza and the West Bank under a government committed to peace is a necessary condition for resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict."

Italy and Spain also issued public backing the government on Wednesday.
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