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UN envoy meets with new Palestinian ministers in Gaza

June 8, 2014 10:15 A.M. (Updated: June 9, 2014 1:30 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process met with four ministers of the new Palestinian government in Gaza on Sunday, the UN said in a statement.

Robert Serry held a joint meeting in Gaza City with Minister of Women's Affairs Haifa al-Agha, Minister of Labor Mamoun Abu Shahla, Minister of Justice Salim al-Saqqa, and Mufeed al-Hasayneh, the new minister of public works and housing.

"I congratulated the Ministers on their appointment and discussed with them the many practical challenges ahead. I assured them full support of the United Nations which is ready to increase its considerable program of works in Gaza, including in the priority areas of water and energy," Serry said in the statement.

"Gazans must, as soon as possible, feel the dividends of unity. Open crossings both for goods and people, access to construction material, re-establishing trade links between the West Bank and Gaza and exports are urgently needed to kickstart the economy and create job opportunities."

The statement reiterated the UN supported the new government, and called for it to remain faithful to the "commitments" of the PLO -- referring to its recognition of Israel and its renunciation of violence.

"The formation of the Government of national consensus is a first step and opportunity to address the serious political, security, humanitarian and economic challenges ahead," the statement concluded.
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