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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-04

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou appeals for truce, UNSC action

  • [01] Papandreou appeals for truce, UNSC action

    Main opposition PASOK leader and Socialist International (SI) president George Papandreou said on Sunday that there can be no solution with military means, but the only road was dialogue and understanding, in a statement on the situation in Gaza.

    "From the outset, we condemned, and condemn in the most unequivocal manner, all acts of violence," he said.

    "We condemn in the most categorical way the ground operations and invasion of the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. This military escalation dramatically exacerbates the situation for the already suffering unarmed population of Gaza. It causes only horror and fear,' Papandreou said.

    He warned that the ground offense produces an even heavier death toll among the unarmed, "while the cry of despair of the 1.5 million Palestinians crowding in the Gaza Strip becomes increasingly louder".

    "We express our solidarity with the Palestinian people. We reiterate for the umpteenth time that there can be no solution through military means. The only path is dialogue and agreement," Papandreou stressed.

    For those reasons, he continued: "We call for the immediate cessation of fire, for all hostilities to halt immediate, for a truce".

    "We call on Israel to immediate end its military operations and on Hamas to stop the launching of rockets. For ensurance of the protection of the unarmed and the despatch of humanitarian aid," the PASOK and SI leader said.

    "We call on the regional and international partners, on the entire international community, to exercise all possible influence for the achievement of the immediate termination of the bloodshed and distress, so that assistance may be immediately forthcoming to the unarmed, and for the achievement of a lasting truce," Papandreou continued.

    He warned that continuation of the clash will result in a new, deep wound, which will render even more difficult the achievement of the goal of resolving the Palestinian issue and securing peace in the region.

    "We express our strong disappointment that the UN Security Council closed its meeting without reaching agreement on issuing a statement on the escalation of the violence. We call on the Security Council, as well as on all its members, to shoulder their responsibilities and to immediately and decisively live up to their role to guarantee peace and security in the world," Papandreou continued.

    Last night (Saturday night), he noted, thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv, themselves condemning the Israeli army's attacks in the Gaza Strip. "We unite our voice with theirs, and with all the people throughout the world expressing their protest, their desperation and their rage over this bloodshed," he added.

    "We unite our voice with theirs and declare that our struggle is for peace and against war, against violence. We all know how, and have the obligation, to respond to our children's dreams. The chidlren ask for the minimum, to live peacefully in Gaza, in Palestine and Israel," Papandreou concluded.

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