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Kerry says he had no advance warning of Palestinian deal for unity gov't that scuttled talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says this week's deadline for an agreement on Mideast peace was irrelevant even before it passed.

That's due to separate actions by Israeli and Palestinian leaders that halted nine months of negotiations.

Kerry says he still hopes the two sides will come back to the negotiating table. Those are his first remarks on the process since the April 29 deadline came and went.

Kerry says that for now, the peace process is on pause. He spoke to reporters during a news conference Thursday in the Ethiopian capital.

Kerry also says he had no advance warning of an internal Palestinian deal announced last week to create a unity government with the militant group Hamas. That move spurred Israel to suspend the negotiations.