Vienna, 27 December 2008 – The Foreign Minister warned against a "renewed spiral of violence in the Middle East“ in view of the latest reports of numerous Palestinian victims in the Gaza Strip after Israel's retaliation strikes for the continued rocket attacks on Israeli cities by militant Hamas groups.
Spindelegger added that "Hamas must finally renounce violence, and Israel has to allow basic necessities to reach the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. In this tense situation, everything must be done to resume efforts to renew the ceasefire and to continue the humanitarian aid already under way for the suffering population in the Gaza Strip. This is important in order to keep the chances for progress in a peaceful solution in the Middle East alive during this current delicate transitional phase."
"This concern was also clearly expressed in the talks I had with several Foreign Ministers from the Middle East during the recent Dialogue Conference with the Arab League in Vienna", said Spindelegger. In this context, the Foreign Minister also pointed out to the declaration of the European Council of 12 December 2008, in which the European Union committed itself to taking all available practical and political measures to promote the peace process in the coming year.
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