WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Bush administration, reinforcing its policy favoring a single Palestinian state, lifted its economic and political embargo against the Western-backed government of President Mahmoud Abbas Monday.
The move follows the expulsion of the militant Hamas movement from the Palestinian Authority.
Rice said she had informed new Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of the decision to resume direct aid in a phone call earlier Monday.
``I told him the United States would resume full assistance to the Palestinian government and normal government to government contacts,'' she told reporters at the State Department. ``I told the prime minister that we want to work with his government and support his efforts to enforce the rule of law and to ensure a better life for the Palestinian people.''
``We intend to lift our financial restrictions on the Palestinian government, which has accepted previous agreements with Israel and rejects the path of violence. This will enable the American people and American financial institutions to resume normal econcomic and commercial ties with the Palestinaian government,'' Rice said.
She said the administration would work with Congress to reprogram assistance to the Palestinian Authority and would also contribute an additional $40 million to the United Nations to help Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which is now controlled by Hamas.
``Through its actions, Hamas sought to divide the Palestinan nation, we reject that,'' Rice said. ``It is the position of the United States that there one Palestinian people and there should be one Palestinian state.''