Italy says all sides must agree before EU can check Gaza aid ships

Arab-Israel Relations Materials 8 June 2010 19:01 (UTC +04:00)

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Tuesday said a French proposal for the European Union to check cargo on ships bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip could only work if all sides were in agreement, DPA reported.

"There have previously been cases in which the European Union has contributed to border controls, such as the Rafah border crossing," Frattini said, referring to the frontier town between Gaza and Egypt.

"However, it is a condition that both sides are in agreement," he added. "The controls in Rafah ended because the Hamas organisation no longer allowed controls to take place."

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Monday proposed EU controls on cargo ships bound for Gaza, in an attempt to lower tensions following Israeli raids on aid ships last week.

Frattini was speaking in Berlin, where he held talks with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle, on subjects including their countries' involvement in Afghanistan and sanctions for Iran. dpa hm amh Author: Helen Maguire