Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Fashion, what's happened in 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

Europe

Spain's Zapatero urges 'strong joint EU position' on Gaza-Israel blockade

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-12

After talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Spanish Prime Minister José Zapatero called for a "strong joint EU position" on Gaza and Israel's blockade. Spain is set to propose Monday that the 27-nation bloc call for an end to the blockade.

AFP - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose country holds the European Union's rotating presidency, called Saturday for a "strong, joint EU position" on Gaza and Israel's blockade.

"We want to forge a strong, joint EU position towards what happened in Gaza and the humanitarian situation in that area," he said after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.

Zapatero said his foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, would propose to his EU colleagues at a meeting on Monday that the 27-nation bloc "clearly declare itself in favour of ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip."

Moratinos said in a television interview this week that the ministers would discuss "a plan for lifting the blockade" in order to "ensure the entry" of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and people.

A draft text prepared for the ministers meeting in Luxembourg said Israel's blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza is "unacceptable and counterproductive, including from the point or view of Israel's security."

The ministers are to take into account the security concerns of Israel, which fears that arms and other military materials could be smuggled in with legitimate aid.

So the EU will call for the opening of borders under a "new mechanism" with a list of prohibited goods and "strict control over the destination of imported and exported merchandise," according to the text.

Abbas said that he is "satisfied with the EU's role and political position" on Gaza.

The Palestinian leader characterised his talks this week in Washington with US President Barack Obama as constructive, which focused on US-facilitated indirect talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Zapatero said "we hope... that with the efforts of President Obama we will be able within a reasonable time to move to direct dialogue and negotiations" between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The last round of direct negotiations between the two sides collapsed in December 2008 when Israel launched a devastating offensive against the Gaza Strip in a bid to halt Palestinian rocket fire aimed at Israeli towns

Date created : 2010-06-12

  • TURKEY

    Turkey leads condemnation of Israel at regional summit

    Read more

  • MIDDLE EAST

    Iranian Red Crescent to challenge Gaza blockade with aid ships

    Read more

COMMENT(S)