Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, said on Wednesday that he
received assurances from the United States that the formation of a
National Unity Government would bring an end to its political and aid
embargo on the Palestinian Authority, and would end the Israeli
offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The statements of Abbas came in an interview with the London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat news agency.

Meanwhile, senior US sources told the Israeli online daily Haaretz that the Bush administration expects the National Unity Government to meet the demands of the Quartet; recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and recognizing the prior peace agreements  signed between the P.A and Israel.

Abbas added that he had received clear information on the lifting of embargo from David Welch during their meeting Tuesday meeting.

Moreover, a spokesperson of Abbas also said that the Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak, said that the national unity government would bring an end to the embargo.

Regarding a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, Abbas said that he is willing to meet Olmert “anytime, anywhere”, and that the staffs of both leaders are conducting preparations for such a meeting, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.

Abbas is expected in Gaza on Thursday to hold talks with Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya on National Unity Government.

Haniyya is expected to announce his resignation by weekend, and Abbas would announce the formation of the new cabinet.

The cabinet of technocrats would be led by Dr. Mohammad Shbeir, acceptable by both Hamas and Fateh; Shbeir is close to Hamas but not a member of the movement.

Palestinian sources reported on Thursday that delays on the formation of the government might take place as a result of the continuous Israeli military offensive and attacks in the Gaza Strip.