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China welcomes Palestinian unity deal, hopes will help peace

Published on Apr 24, 2014 6:00 PM
 
 A Palestinian petrol station worker reads a newspaper the day after rival Palestinian leaders from the West Bank and Gaza Strip forged a new reconciliation agreement in Gaza City on April 24, 2014. China's foreign ministry welcomed on Thursday, April 24, 2014, a unity pact agreed between the Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organisation, saying Beijing hoped this would help peace talks with Israel. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's foreign ministry welcomed on Thursday a unity pact agreed between the Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organisation, saying Beijing hoped this would help peace talks with Israel.

While the United States said it was disappointed by the deal, which it said could make peace efforts difficult, China said it regarded the move positively.

China "believes this will be conducive to Palestinian unity, and fundamentally conducive to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and peaceful coexistance between Israel and Palestine", foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a daily news briefing.

The Palestinian move, after years of internal bickering, envisions a unity government being formed within five weeks and national elections six months later.

 
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