U.S. and Israel Set Conditions for Palestinian Government
The U.S. and Israel have agreed not to recognize or support a new Palestinian unity government unless it first recognizes Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will have to do some political tightrope-walking in the days ahead as he attempts to make peace with Hamas at home and improve relations with Israel and its allies abroad.
The US and Israel will not work with a new Palestinian unity government unless it recognises Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said.
He was speaking as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prepared for talks with Mr Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Mr Olmert said he and US President Bush agreed on their position on Friday.
Hamas, the largest group in the proposed Palestinian unity government, refuses to recognise Israel.
Mr Olmert said a Palestinian government that failed to accept conditions laid down by the quartet of the US, EU, Russia and UN “cannot receive recognition and there will not be co-operation with it,” Reuters news agency reports.