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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-05

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Athens eyes EU consensus for Gaza

  • [01] Athens eyes EU consensus for Gaza

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Monday received the top Palestinian envoy in Greece, where she noted that the best and most effective coordination of Athens' humanitarian aid to Gaza was discussed during the meeting.

    Bakoyannis also reiterated the fact that Greece was the first European country to offer humanitarian aid to ravaged Gaza.

    The meeting came after Sunday's telephone contact between Bakoyannis and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

    "After much effort trucks carrying Greek humanitarian aid to Gaza entered today (Monday)," she said, referring to shipments transported aboard two military planes on Saturday, including blood supplies.

    "Our goal is to organise, in the best possible fashion, the dispatch of further aid; an order has already been given to purchase necessary pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs," Bakoyannis said, adding that another Hellenic Air Force C-130 plane is scheduled to deliver more aid in roughly a week, with a food-laden vessel set to depart for the region in 10 days.

    Palestinian envoy Samir Abou Ghazaleh confirmed that Greece was the first European country to dispatch aid to Gaza, while he noted that discussions with the Greek FM focused on Athens' diplomatic initiatives within the framework of efforts to achieve a truce.

    According to reports, Greek diplomacy is centring on efforts to achieve a consensus within the European Union, as Bakoyannis had a series of phone contacts on Monday with EU counterparts, including French FM Bernard Kouchner, Britain's David Miliband and Spanish Minister Miguel Moratinos.

    "One of our biggest concerns is the lack of consensus, which appeared yesterday on the European level. This was the primary object of discussions that I had this morning with my European counterparts," Bakoyannis told reporters, adding: "We cannot tolerate a Europe with two or three voices, and we must clear this up as soon as possible."

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