Talks with United States administration useless, Abbas says

Talks with United States administration useless, Abbas says

According to the official Palestinian news agency, the full oath reads: "I swear by Almighty God to be loyal to the homeland and its sanctities, to the people and its national heritage, to respect the constitutional order and the law, and to take full care of the interests of the Palestinian people".

Fatah and PLO President Mahmoud Abbas said talks with the United States are "useless", Arabs48 reported yesterday.

The Palestinian Authority government is based in the occupied West Bank, while Islamist movement Hamas rules the Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and Finance Minister Shukri Bishara will continue in their positions. He will run the ministries of interior and religious affairs until new appointees are named for the two posts.

In a statement late on Saturday, Abbas confirmed the new government and welcomed the cabinet.

Shtayyeh's immediate challenge is to shore up the cash-strapped PA, which exercises limited self-rule under interim peace accords with Israel.

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Regarding Israel's withholding of the Palestinian tax revenues, he said "the Israelis told us that after the Israeli elections that they can talk about this issue".

Israel said the sum it is holding back matches money used by the PA to pay stipends to families of militants in Israeli jails. It scaled back wages paid to civil servants in February and March to weather the crisis.

The letter that was signed by 25 former foreign ministers, six former prime ministers, and two former North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary generals, calls for a two-state solution in which Israel and Palestinian states live side by side.

The former leaders claim, the USA has departed from long standing policies and has "demonstrated a disturbing indifference to Israeli settlement expansion". The peace process has all but collapsed and Israel has expanded its settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank despite worldwide objections.

"The Palestinian cause is passing through hard circumstances, but Palestinians and their leadership are responsible", he noted.

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