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France welcomes Palestinian reconciliation

PARIS, April 28 (KUNA) -- France welcomed Thursday the reconciliation agreement signed between the two Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas in Cairo yesterday to pave the way for the formation of a national unity government.
Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman Bernard Valero pointed out that France supported the reconciliation between the Palestinian factions and the initiatives taken by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
This agreement should fulfill Palestinian people's aspirations of having an independent state living in peace side by side with Israel, Valero added.
Moreover, France is ready to work with a national Palestinian government, that renounces violence, to reach a peace agreement with Israel, he said.
The Fatah movement of Mahmoud Abbas has been mired in a deep rivalry with Hamas since the latter emerged victorious in parliamentary elections in 2006. The ties of the two movements further deteriorated after Hamas routed Fatah forces from Gaza Strip in June 2007.
The rift has left the Palestinian national movement divided between competing governments in the West Bank, in which Fatah holds sway, and in Gaza, controlled by Hamas. (end) tm.ibi KUNA 282020 Apr 11NNNN