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EU calls for opening of crossing points to Gaza

BRUSSELS, Aug 7 (KUNA) -- The EU Thursday welcomed all initiatives which would be designed to address the root causes of the Palestine question.
"The status quo ante in Gaza is not an option," Sebastien Brabant, a spokesman for EU High Representatie Catherine Ashton, told a news conference.
He underlined the importance of improving the living conditions of the population in Gaza including by opening the crossing points.
"Our goals should not only be to rebuild Gaza but that the economy of Gaza be kick-started leading to a sustainable socio-economic development of the population and in particular to improve significantly the movement into and from the Gaza Strip," stressed the spokesman.
"We have also called for the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza under the leadership of President Abbas. The EU is ready to support and contribute to a comprehensive and sustainable solution to Gaza meeting the legitimate humanitarian needs of Palestinian and Israelis alike," he said.
The EU, he said, supports the ongoing talks on Gaza and is exploring all options to support the next steps.
Brabant clarified that the redeployment of European Union Border Assistance Mission in Rafah will be subject to an invitation by both the Israelis and Palestinians.
"No invitation has taken place so far but contacts are under way with the stakeholders including the PA, Israel and Egypt for possible EU contributions to ensure sustainable solution in Gaza," he added. (end) nk.hs