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Stubb: EU Goal is Total End to Gaza Blockade

Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb Thursday expressed the hope for more action to improve conditions in occupied Palestinian areas. Visiting Gaza, Stubb said that the EU is aiming at a complete dismantling of the current blockade.

Alexander Stubb. Lähde: Yle
Alexander Stubb Image: YLE

The main purpose of the visit was to gain an impression of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. The Finnish Foreign Minister met with representatives of a number of aid organizations working in the area.

Stubb thanked Israel for easing the Gaza blockade in June. At the same time, however, he stressed that more moves are needed.

Foreign Minister Stubb described the situation in the Gaza Strip as continuing to be alarming.

"It is especially important that exports from Gaza be allowed so that the area's economy can develop," said Stubb.

"The goal of the EU is a complete lifting of the blockade. However, the EU also understands well the concerns of Israel connected with its national security," Stubb stated with an allusion to repeated rocket attacks against Israel launched from Gaza.

Foreign Minister Stubb also delivered an appeal for the immediate release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped in 2006.

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