Kerry: U.S. Will Monitor New Palestinian Government

Administration will be watching 'very closely' to ensure the Hamas-Fatah government lives up to its commitments, says U.S. secretary of state during Lebanon visit.

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures after delivering a news conference after meeting with Lebanon's Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the government palace in Beirut June 4, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures after delivering a news conference after meeting with Lebanon's Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the government palace in Beirut June 4, 2014. Credit: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that the U.S. will monitor the new Palestinian unity government and its commitment to continued cooperation with Israel.

Kerry, who spoke during a one-day visit to the Lebanese capital Beirut, said that he had spoken with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and received assurances that the new technocratic government is committed to recognition of Israel, denouncing violence and maintaining the security coordination with Israel.

"We are going to be watching (the government) very closely, as we said from day one, to absolutely ensure that it upholds each of those things it has talked about, that it doesn't cross the line," Kerry said.

On the subject of Syria's presidential elections, Kerry said the vote as "meaningless, because you can't have an election where millions of your people don't even have an ability to vote."

The top American diplomat also said the the U.S. is "deeply troubled" by the political stalemate in Lebanon, which has left the country without a president.

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's protestations over the fact that Washington decided to maintain ties with the new Palestinian unity government.

"It is not a government backed by Hamas," said deputy spokesperson Marie Harf, in the State Department's daily press briefing. "There are no members of Hamas in the government."

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