Axis of Evil denies Unity Govt.

JERUSALEM, Feb 17 (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have agreed to jointly shun a Palestinian unity government unless it meets international conditions, Olmert’s office said on Saturday.

An official in Olmert’s office told Reuters that the agreement was reached in a telephone conversation on Friday between the two leaders.

“We won’t recognise a unity government that doesn’t explicitly accept the conditions. This is the joint U.S.-Israeli position,” the official said, confirming Israeli television reports.

U.S. officials had no immediate comment.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah reached a power-sharing deal with Hamas leaders to form a unity government in talks in Mecca earlier this month.

The unity government agreement makes no explicit commitment to recognise Israel or renounce violence, as demanded by Israel and the so-called Quartet of Middle East mediators.

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