'Israel must allow more goods into Gaza'

EU foreign policy chief also calls for increased exports from Strip.

July 26, 2010 13:43
Ashton in Gaza. (AP)

Ashton in Gaza 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

BRUSSELS — Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign and security affairs chief, said Monday Israel must do more to allow goods in and out of the Gaza Strip.

"We need to see more happening to improve the situation in Gaza, especially for exports to be allowed so that the Gaza economy can start to grow again," Ashton told reporters on arrival at a meeting with the EU foreign ministers. "There is much to be done."

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Ashton was to brief the foreign ministers on her visit to the Middle East last week when she met with officials in Jerusalem and officials of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

She also visited the Gaza Strip to gauge the impact of Israel's easing of its embargo.

In Jerusalem last week, Ashton told Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman "the security of Israel is extremely important and must be assured," but she suggested Israel could ease trade restrictions on Gaza.

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