US will work with new Palestinian govt, maintain aid

WASHINGTON: The United States threw its support behind a new Palestinian unity government, saying it would work with the cabinet sworn in on Monday, but warned it would be watching closely. “At this point, it appears that President (Mahmud) Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include ministers affiliated with Hamas,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. “Moving forward we will be judging this government by its actions. Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government,” Psaki said. The United States “will be watching closely to ensure that it upholds principles” of non-violence and recognition of the state of Israel, she warned. The long-awaited Palestinian unity government took the oath before Abbas on Monday after a landmark reconciliation deal with Islamist movement Hamas that has infuriated Israel. Psaki confirmed that millions of dollars in US aid to the Palestinian Authority would continue, and revealed that Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier Monday. 

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Aaj Kal