Abbas sees June 2 announcement of joint government with Hamas

by Reuters
Saturday, 31 May 2014 18:44 GMT

By Ali Sawafta

RAMALLAH, West Bank, May 31 (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he expects a joint government of his Fatah party and Hamas Islamists will be announced in two days, on June 2, setting a solid date for completing a unity deal the sides agreed to pursue last month.

Meeting with French peace activists in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where his limited self-rule government is based, Abbas said: "We will announce the government the day after tomorrow, it will be formed of technocrats and independents."

Asked for comment, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said he could not confirm all the details of an agreement would be completed by Monday.

Western-backed Fatah, headed by Abbas, rules the Israeli-occupied West Bank while Hamas, which has refused to recognise Israel, holds sway in the Gaza Strip.

(Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Pravin Char)

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