US keeps aid freeze but signals softening, saying it will work with non-Hamas ministers.
Sean McCormack, the US state department spokesman, said on Monday that some contacts with the Palestinian Authority were planned.
“Our position is that we are not going to suspend contacts solely based on an individual’s membership in the national unity government. We are going to take a look at that on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
McCormack stressed that the US had no plans to lift the economic and diplomatic blockade imposed in March 2006 in a bid to pressure the ruling Hamas group to recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept interim peace deals.
Britain plans to allow diplomatic contacts with non-Hamas ministers, while Russia and France have both reacted positively to the new administration.
Norway ended its diplomatic boycott of the Palestinian government on Monday when it has restored full relations with the Palestinian Authority and an official met the Palestinian prime minister.
|Norway was the first country to re-establish
diplomatic relations with the Palestinians [EPA]
Raymond Johansen, Norway’s deputy foreign minister, said: “We hope that all the European countries, and even other countries, will … support this unity government.
However, the first cracks appeared in the long-awaited coalition on Monday as Hamas accused Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, of illegally appointing a senior Fatah official as national security adviser.
“This is just a ploy to regain international hand-outs with smoke and mirrors”
LeotheIsaurian, Detroit, US
“Hamas sees the step by President Mahmoud Abbas to appoint Mohammad Dahlan, a lawmaker, as his adviser for the national security as a violation to the Palestinian law,” a statement said.
Meshaal acknowledged that the criticisms could have been a mistake saying: “We should sort things out internally.”