$2bln Gaza reconstruction meet to be hosted on March 2 in Egypt

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Thursday that "The situation in Gaza cannot be resolved with billions of dollars," in Davos.

$2bln Gaza reconstruction meet to be hosted on March 2 in Egypt

Cairo will host an international conference on March 2 on the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, estimated at $2 billion after Israel's 22-day offensive, the Egyptian foreign ministry said on Friday.

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

"The conference will focus on the requirements of rebuilding in Gaza, ways to do so, and the gathering of necessary funds," a foreign ministry statement said, adding that the meeting would be held on the level of foreign ministers.

The meeting, to be held in coordination with the Palestinian Authority, would also deal with urgent humanitarian support.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit urged Europe on Sunday to help with fast aid for Gaza, and said a reconstruction conference would require damage assesments and the support of the European Union, the United Nations and others.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Thursday that "The situation in Gaza cannot be resolved with billions of dollars. Gaza has collapsed over its people that have no economic means to develop," in Gaza Panel in World Economic Forum which be held by Switzerland.

Preliminary estimates put the damage in Gaza after Israel's offensive, which killed 1,300 Palestinians, a third of them children, at nearly $2 billion. Saudi Arabia has said it would donate $1 billion.

The Cairo reconstruction talks will come shortly after the Feb. 22 date proposed for the start of an Egyptian-sponsored dialogue between Palestinian groups.

Reuters
Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2009, 16:11
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