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Sun 1 Jun 2014 11:53 AM

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Abbas sees June 2 announcement of joint Palestinian gov’t with Hamas

Two sides agreed a unity deal last month

Abbas sees June 2 announcement of joint Palestinian gov’t with Hamas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

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.

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