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Countries mixed on Palestinian government

JERUSALEM, March 19 (UPI) -- International reaction to the new Palestinian unity government was mixed Monday with some European support in the face of U.S. and Israeli opposition.

While the Israeli Cabinet voted unanimously to reject the weekend deal struck between Hamas and the Fatah party, Norway said it would recognize the new government and France invited the Palestinian foreign minister to Paris, The New York Times reported Monday.

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British officials were more guarded, siding with the U.S. reaction that there are certain members of the government they will not speak directly with, largely those from Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel's sovereignty.

Monday, Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said "all the ministers in the government of national unity were appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas," and that "ministers implement the government's policies -- not the policies of particular parties," Alalam TV reported.

The United States and many other western countries deemed Hamas to be a terrorist organization and ceased providing aid since it won a surprise parliamentary election 15 months ago.

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