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Rice asks Egypt to control Gaza border

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Latest update : 2008-01-25

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Egypt Thursday to control its border with the Gaza Strip, while acknowledging the "difficult" situation Cairo faces with the frontier.


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Egypt Thursday to control its border with the Gaza Strip, while acknowledging the "difficult" situation Cairo faces with the frontier.
  
"I understand it is a difficult situation for them (Egypt)," Rice said after arriving here for meetings with the Colombian government.
  
"But it is an international border, it needs to be protected and I believe that the Egyptians understand the importance of doing that."
  
Palestinians swarmed into Egypt for the second day Thursday after militants blew open the border in a bid to to break an Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.
  
The United Nations estimated nearly half Gaza's 1.5 million people were now inside Egypt.
  
Rice again pinned the blame on the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement for provoking the Israeli blockade, which cut off shipments of fuel, food and other necessary goods to the enclave.
  
"This problem has come first and foremost out of the security situation created by Hamas in Gaza, their unwillingness to stop" firing rockets into Israel, Rice said.
  
"But that said, the innocent people of Gaza are in a very difficult situation," she added.

Date created : 2008-01-25

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