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Adams welcomes announcement on Palestinian unity government

14 September, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has welcomed the announcement by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Leader and Prime Minister Ismail Haniya that they have successfully agreed to establish a national unity government for the Palestinian territories.

Mr. Adams has called on the European Union to immediately restore the Aid suspended earlier this year after Hamas won democratic elections.

The Sinn Féin leader is writing to Javier Solana, the EU Commissioner responsible for EU foreign policy to order the resumption of Aid and to launch an initiative aimed at helping tospeedily restore the stalled peace process.

Mr. Adams said:

"President Abbas told me last week of his hopes to make this announcement. This decision gives hope that real progress towards stability and peace is possible.

"Having spoken to President Abbas, his senior advisors and to representatives of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including Hamas, I came away last week convinced that the Palestinian people want to make progress and understand the importance of speaking with one voice.

"There is now a heavy responsibility on the International Community, but especially the European Union to take initiative which will bolster this development.

"Most immediately the EU should resume Aid to the Palestinian Authority. There is an economic and humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories. The EU should also launch a political initiative to encourage dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.

"I have already called for the release of the Israeli soldiers. The Israeli government should release the 43 elected representatives of the Palestinian people, including the speaker of their Assembly.

"The emergence of a national government of unity is a significant development which deserves immediate support." ENDS

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