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U.S. says 'disappointed' by Palestinian unity deal

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The United States said on Wednesday (April 23) it was let down by a unity pact agreed to between the Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and said it could make peace efforts difficult. "The timing was troubling, and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a regular news briefing. "This could seriously complicate our efforts - not just our efforts but the efforts of the parties to extend their negotiations." Psaki said U.S. officials had expressed their concerns to the Palestinians. "It's hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist," she said. Psaki said the longtime U.S. expectations of the Palestinians in the negotiating process had not changed: that they should unambiguously commit to nonviolence, recognize the existenc

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