Biden 'working with Egypt' for Gazan's problems

U.S. Vice President Biden said he was working closely with Egypt on new ways of dealing with the problems facing the Palestinians in Gaza as a result of the Israeli blockade.

Biden 'working with Egypt' for Gazan's problems

 

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Monday he was working closely with Egypt on new ways of dealing with the problems facing the Palestinians in Gaza as a result of the Israeli blockade.

Israel has faced international calls to lift the siege since a bloody seizure of a Turkish aid ship last week. Nine activists were killed in the assault.

"We are consulting closely with Egypt, as well as our other partners, on new ways to address the humanitarian, economic, security, and political aspects of the situation in Gaza," Biden said in a statement.

The statement was issued after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Egypt, the only country apart from Israel to border Gaza, opened its Rafah crossing last week to allow aid convoys into the coastal strip.

A security source in Egypt, who declined to be identified, said Israel was under pressure from the international community to find an alternative policy to its blockade on Gaza and said a partial lifting was in sight.

"Israel must review its policies amid pressure from the international community regarding its blockade on Gaza. There will be a partial lifting of the blockade," the source said.

"The Palestinian people will no longer complain of shortages of humanitarian aid or shortages of water, oil, medicine, electricity or fuel," the source said, adding this would still not solve problems such as a lack of infrastructure in Gaza.

In Cairo, Arab League officials said the body's chief, Amr Moussa, would visit Gaza in the coming days to give momentum to reconciliation talks between Hamas and Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas's more secular Fatah faction.

Gazans live under heavy Israel siege for a long time and Egypt had insisted on not to opening the only Gaza border crossing until Israeli shooting in Gaza aid flotilla in a move condemned by Muslims around the world in protests, leaving Gazans desperate to digging tunnels underground and risking their lives.

The Arab League said last week it would go to the Security Council and demand lifting of the blockade.

Egypt is building an underground steel barrier on the border.

Although his words about "trying face Palestinians' problems in Gaza", Biden said last week Washington backed Israel's right to board ships bound for Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling, but remained concerned about the plight of Palestinians there.

Reuters

Last Mod: 08 Haziran 2010, 08:50
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