India, China and Turkey Endorse Palestinian Unity Government

All three powers call on international community to support Fatah-Hamas unity government, breaking ranks from Israel.

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Haaretz
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Women from India in Manger Square, outside the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, May 25, 2014.
Women from India in Manger Square, outside the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, May 25, 2014.Credit: Reuters
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Haaretz

The new Palestinian unity government has received three welcome endorsements from major world powers India, China and Turkey, all within a day of Palestinian President Abbas swearing in a cabinet of 17 technocrats.

All three called on the international community to throw its support behind and work with the new government, in contrast to the wishes of the Israeli government, which is seeking to punish the Palestinian Authority for forming a government with Hamas.

Turkey was the first country to publicly embrace the government that ended the seven-year rift between the Fatah and Hamas factions on Tuesday morning.

“The unity of the Palestinian people is indispensable for the building of a just and viable peace in the region," declared the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement published by Hurriyet Daily News. "We believe the arrangements within the PLO’s structure and elections expected to take place in the upcoming period will strengthen democratic legitimacy in Palestine,” the congratulatory statement read.

“We call on the international community to support this development, which aims at uniting the national democratic will of the Palestinian people,” the ministry added.

China came next, welcoming the new Palestinian government on Tuesday.

"We believe Palestine's internal reconciliation will strengthen the solidarity of the Palestinian people, and promote the founding of an independent state for Palestinians and peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, according to Xinhua news agency.

"China believes peaceful negotiation is the only way to realize Palestine-Israel peace," said the spokesman at a routine press briefing. The spokesman added that he hoped both Israel and Palestine would get over their difficulties and resume talks, Xinhua reported.

Hong called for the international community to encourage and support this end.

On Tuesday afternoon, India welcomed the unity government, expressing its hope that "it would be able to resume talks with Israel in a pragmatic and constructive spirit to find a mutually acceptable political solution to the decades-old issue," Press Trust of India reported.

"India supports the formation of the Unity Government of Fatah and Hamas, led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah," the spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs reportedly said. "This is in keeping with India's stance of supporting the reconciliation efforts between the West Bank and Gaza, key to a sustainable Palestinian State."

Noting the unity government's commitment to upholding obligations assumed by the PA in peace talks with Israel, the ministry stated: "India has consistently supported a peaceful and negotiated solution between Palestine and Israel, resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side and at peace with Israel, within secured and recognized borders."

“The new Palestinian government is a chance for Palestinians to fight for the interests of all Palestinians in a united way," said Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group president.

“It is good that all members of this new non-partisan government, which does not include any Hamas members, are accepting the basic and agreed conditions to find a peace agreement with Israel," he said. “We call on the EU and European governments to continue their financial support for the new government."

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