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Gaza: Borders

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with (i) the Government of Israel, (ii) the Government of Egypt and (iii) the European Commission on moves to open the Rafah border crossing to cargo; and if he will make a statement. (197037)

The UK wholly supports opening of the Rafah crossing and the restoration of the EU border assistance mission as soon as conditions allow. At the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on 28 January, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary (David Miliband) and his EU colleagues supported the Egyptian efforts to find a compromise between the parties in order to open the crossing and made clear that

“the EU is ready to consider resuming its monitoring mission at Rafah under the provisions of the relevant international agreements related to Access and Movement concluded in November 2005”.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken to Israeli Foreign Minister Livni and Egyptian Foreign Minister Abu Gheit on this issue. Our embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv are also in regular contact with their host governments.