UN chief to discuss investigation of Gaza flotilla incident
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon plans to discuss with the UN Security Council the investigation of the Israeli raid on a humanitarian flotilla off the Gaza coast, which resulted in at least nine people dead, a UN spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Ban was scheduled to return to UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, following a visit to Uganda and Malawi. Before leaving Kampala, Ban had a series of phone conversation with world leaders, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and officials in Turkey and Israel, said spokeswoman Marie Okabe.
The 15-nation Security Council issued early Tuesday a statement condemning the Israeli action on the six-ship flotilla carrying relief supplies to Gaza Strip. It backed Ban's call for an investigation that will be "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent ... confirming to international standards."
"The secretary general will discuss the future course of action, including an investigation (of the incident) with Arab, Turkish and Israeli officials, UN Security Council members and other world leaders," Okabe said.
The secretary general believed that "the most pressing issue, of course, is the release of the detainees, return of the deceased and care of the wounded," Okabe said.
She said UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry was in touch with the United States, Russia and the European Union, which with the UN form the diplomatic group for peace in the Middle East, to discuss implementation of the council's statement.
The statement said the situation in Gaza "is not sustainable." It called for the need for sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza, and unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.