During a meeting with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in
Ramallah, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced support to
the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Government saying that
this could ease the foreign sanctions imposed after Hamas' overwhelming
victory in the Legislative Council elections.

Abbas said during the meeting that he has renewed the efforts that aim to create a political partnership between Hamas and Fateh.

Annan also called on Israel to lift the closure it imposed on the Gaza Strip and to open all crossing points.

Annan is conducting a regional tour that aims to strengthen the August 14 cease-fire that ended the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah.
“If the Palestinians can agree on a unity program that can help in improving the security situation, and control the situation, the UN will do whatever is needed to support you”, Annan told Abbas.

The siege over the Palestinian territories has worsened the situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, government employees have not been paid since March, all public services are nearly dead.

President Abbas told Annan that he will be heading to Gaza to discuss the unity government with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, member of the Hamas party.

Abbas also said that the National Unity Government should include “all political colors”, and it should be capable of restoring the local and international relations.

Meanwhile, hundreds of civil servants held a rally outside Abbas's office in Ramallah before the president met with Annan and demanded to receive their wages.

Addressing the crowd, Abbas said that “he who wants a government, should seek one that is capable of ending the siege, protecting the interests of the people and pay the salaries”.

Hamas movement urged its employees not to strike and said that the demonstrations should be against the parties that imposed sanctioned on the Palestinian people.