Joe Biden 311.
(photo credit:Associated Press)
WASHINGTON – US Vice President Joe Biden discussed with Egypt on Monday
improve the situation in Gaza, expanding American consultations on the
include the country that controls the Strip’s southern border.
consulting closely with Egypt, as well as our other partners, on new
address the humanitarian, economic, security and political aspects of
situation in Gaza,” Biden announced following his visit with Egyptian
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The US has previously asserted the need for modifications
to restrictions on Gaza, in conversations with Israel following the deadly
flotilla incident last Monday in which nine Turkish activists were killed by IDF
commandos while trying to break the siege Israel has imposed on the
Egypt, like Israel, has severely restricted
the flow of goods and people in and out of the area, as Egypt also
Islamic group a threat. But Egypt eased the border closing in the wake
flotilla confrontation.Biden wants peace talks continued
Biden also used the visit, which had been in the
works before the flotilla encounter that refocused headlines on Gaza, to
the need to keep nascent peace talks on track.
“The status quo is
unsustainable for all sides,” Biden declared. “It is vital to make
the proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians to enable the
move to direct negotiations as soon as possible.” Despite last week’s
incident, the indirect talks have continued, and Arab backers such as
haven’t pulled back their endorsement even as they’ve denounced Israel’s
Biden also sought to keep momentum on Iran, which is due
to face a vote for another round of UN Security Council sanctions this
though the council has been preoccupied with the flotilla fallout.
discussed our serious concerns about Iran’s nuclear program,” Biden
expect to see developments in the United Nations Security Council to
accountable very soon.”
He added, “In addition to concerns about Iran’s nuclear
program, we remain concerned about its destabilizing activities
region, including with regard to its support for Hizbullah and Hamas.”
visit to Egypt, rescheduled from March – the same month he visited
Israel – is
part of a trip that also includes Kenya and South Africa.
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