Cyprus FM: Israel rejects Cyprus-Gaza aid link

January 28, 2011 17:56


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NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus' foreign minister says Israel has turned down a proposal to use the east Mediterranean island as a staging post to ship humanitarian aid to blockaded Gaza.

Markos Kyprianou said the joint Cyprus-Greece proposal was not discussed with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki during talks in Nicosia on Friday.

Under the European Union-backed initiative, ships would have used Cypriot ports to ferry aid directly to Gaza, some 240 miles (386 kilometers) away.

Cyprus and Greece unveiled the initiative after an Israeli commando raid on an aid flotilla attempting to breach the blockade in May last year left nine activists dead.

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