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Ready to co-operate

Swiss recognise new Palestinian government

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (left) oversaw the swearing-in of the new government on Monday (Keystone)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (left) oversaw the swearing-in of the new government on Monday


Switzerland has officially welcomed the formation of the Palestinian National Consensus Government, based on a reconciliation agreement reached in April by the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas.

“Switzerland has consistently underlined that Palestinian unity is a necessary condition for a just and lasting peace and the creation of an independent, viable, contiguous and democratic Palestinian state,” the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) announced Tuesday.

Fatah and Hamas, which both back the new Palestinian National Consensus Government, had governed separately since 2007. That split led to a bitter, often violent rivalry in the territory.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in the new government on Monday, saying "a black page in history has been turned forever".

The Swiss government hopes that the creation of the new organisation will lead to reconciliation among Palestinian factions and people, and to improvements in human rights and freedoms in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

“Switzerland is ready to cooperate with the new government,” the FDFA declared.

Meanwhile, peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel had failed to produce results by an April 29 deadline in spite of the efforts and personal commitment from United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

Switzerland called on the new Palestinian National Consensus Government to recognise Israel’s right to exist. It also called upon Israel to recognise the right of the Palestinian people to establish a state based on the 1967 borders.