U.S. pledges to lift embargo on new Palestinian gov’t

By Xinhua

Ramallah : The U.S. consul general in Jerusalem Jacob Walles told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday that the United States would lift the embargo on the new Palestinian government once it was formed, pan-Arab satellite TV al-Jazeera reported.

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    Walles made the pledge during his meeting with Abbas at the latter's headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said the report.

    The international community, mainly the U.S. and the Western countries, imposed an embargo on the Palestinian government after Hamas came to power in March 2006.

    The embargo remained even after Fatah led by moderate Abbas joined the unity government on March 17 thanks to the power-sharing Mecca deal between Fatah and Hamas reached on Feb. 8.

    However, the unity government fell apart as a result of the latest factional infighting between Fatah and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where was clear of Fatah members after days of clashes.

    On Thursday, President Abbas sacked the unity government in the wake of the infighting in Gaza and appointed on Friday Salam Fayyad, a political independent who was former finance minister of the Hamas-led unity government, as new prime minister, replacing Ismail Haneya of Hamas.

    The new government is very likely to be sworn into office by Sunday despite Hamas rejection to Abbas' decision to sack the unity government.