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UN chief Ban welcomes Greek proposal on Gaza aid fleet

Arab World Materials 4 July 2011 15:51
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has welcomed a proposal by Greece to carry out, along with the UN, the sea transport of aid shipments to the Gaza Strip, Athens said Monday.
UN chief Ban welcomes Greek proposal on Gaza aid fleet

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has welcomed a proposal by Greece to carry out, along with the UN, the sea transport of aid shipments to the Gaza Strip, Athens said Monday, DPA reported.

Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis said he had talked late the night before by telephone with Ban to discuss the idea.

The UN chief had welcomed it and said this could help lead to a reducing of tensions in the Middle East region.

Greek President Giorgos Papandreou made the proposal on Sunday in a telephone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who for his part pledged his support.

Athens' idea of taking charge of sea shipments to locked-in Gaza came after Greece has prohibited any internationally-organized flotillas from departing from Greek ports with aid.

On Saturday, the Greek coast guard arrested a US ship captain who with his vessel "Audacity of Hope" aimed to defy the Greek ban and set sail for Gaza from the port of Keratsini, near Piraeus.

Greek radio reports said upwards of 50 passengers were also on board the ship. On Sunday, the Greek foreign ministry then made written offer to activists to cooperate with the UN in transporting aid goods to Gaza.

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