EU says ready for Gaza donors' conference, no date

EU gave no precise date for a conference.

EU says ready for Gaza donors' conference, no date

The EU declared on Monday it was ready to organise a donors' conference urgently for Gaza and a senior U.S. official said the United States should take part and press a major Palestinian humanitarian initiative.

A statement by the Czech Presidency of the European Union said such a conference should address both the humanitarian needs of Gaza inhabitants, caused by Israel violence, and long-term reconstruction projects.

"Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is prepared to call an international donors' conference," it said in a statement. "The Czech presidency is prepared to assume this task as soon as possible."

U.S. Senator John Kerry, incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committte, told Reuters in an interview: "There needs to be a major Palestinian humanitarian initiative. And we should take part in that, Israel should, the world should."

Asked if the United States should attend a donors' conference if one is organized by the EU, Kerry said, "I think absolutely the United States should take part in a donors' conference, be involved."

The EU gave no precise date for a conference, adding that Schwarzenberg believed that "now is the moment to seriously consider steps to be taken as soon as a ceasefire is reached".

The Czech Republic took over the rotating six-month presidency of the EU from France on Jan. 1.


Reuters

Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2009, 12:26
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