German foreign minister hopeful of Gaza cease-fire

January 12, 2009 10:33


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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that after meeting with Arab and Israeli leaders he is hopeful of the possibility of a cease-fire in Gaza. Steinmeier told reporters early Monday on his return flight from weekend meetings with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, that he sees concrete chances for a cease-fire. He stressed the need to stop the smuggling of weapons to Hamas, saying that it is "the key question for moving from a humanitarian cease-fire to a permanent cease-fire." Steinmeier said Germany can help Egyptian border control efforts with technical help, training and other cooperation.

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