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Joint statement by Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner on the situation in Gaza

15.01.2009

Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French colleague Bernard Kouchner issued the following joint statement yesterday evening (14 January):

"We commend Egypt's sustained efforts to end the armed conflict and to achieve intra-Palestinian reconciliation.

In view of the ongoing violence and the serious humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we call for an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities.

As demanded by UN Security Council Resolution 1860, fighting must stop now in order to end the civilian suffering.

A humanitarian suspension of hostilities will make it possible to address the civilian crisis.

It must also be used to create the conditions for a durable ceasefire which guarantees security for the population of Gaza and Israel.

We have to act quickly.

Our countries are determined to support appropriate arrangements and measures that could sustain a durable ceasefire as laid down in UNSCR 1860 – in particular those aimed at preventing illegal arms trafficking – and could ensure the sustained and regular opening of border crossing points. Important progress has been made over the past days in identifying workable solutions."

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