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EU working on maritime corridor from Cyprus to deliver aid to Gaza

BRUSSELS, - The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen Wednesday announced that the EU is working with Cyprus to open a maritime corridor to deliver humanitarian aid for Gaza.

"Convoys are now entering Gaza through the Rafah border crossing. But the volumes remain too small to match the massive humanitarian needs. This is why we are working on a maritime corridor from Cyprus. It would guarantee a sustained, regulated and robust flow of aid" she told a debate on the situation in Gaza in the European Parliament this afternoon.

"I very much welcome the excellent cooperation with President Nikos Christodoulides (of Cyprus) and his government. This can make the difference between life and death for thousands of Palestinians. And we will continue to help evacuate EU citizens and injured Palestinians," she said.

"The death toll and the suffering of Palestinian civilians is tragic. There are images we cannot unsee. This shakes us to the core - all of us," said the head of the EU's executive body.

On his part, President of the European Council Charles Michel told the same debate that "a total siege is not in line with international law. We call for humanitarian pauses and corridors in Gaza because humanitarian aid must get to those in need, urgently." He warned that "the more the situation deteriorates, the harder it will be to work towards a lasting peace in the future. With each passing hour, more lives are broken, more families torn apart. We are working to help alleviate the suffering." Michel proposed that the EU should purchase grain from Ukraine and ship it to those in need in the Middle East.

"This is a strong gesture of solidarity and efficiency," he stressed.

Michel noted that EU High Representative Borrell launched the Peace Day Effort initiative in September, in the margins of the UN General Assembly, together with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the League of Arab States, and some 50 countries around the world.

"This initiative must be expanded, getting our member states and other partners, such as the US, involved," he said and added that "at the meeting in Paris tomorrow we will discuss and decide on more support"

Source: Kuwait News Agency