US welcomes agreement on Gaza weapons smuggling

The US Department of State welcomed on Monday the March 13 agreement reached in London by representatives of nine countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on a program of action in response to concerns over continued smuggling of weapons into Gaza, a State Department statement said. According to the announcement, combining forces will strengthen the international community's ability to support a durable cease-fire. The Program of Action will provide a comprehensive platform for enhanced cooperation and coordination in the areas of information and intelligence sharing; diplomatic engagement; and military and law enforcement activities. "The United States is committed to move forward quickly with the new mechanism to seek to block arms shipments to Gaza, which constitute a threat to regional peace and security and put innocent lives of Israelis and Palestinians at risk," the statement added.