Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Egypt has greater role to play in delivering aid to Gaza

16th June 2010

Conservative Foreign Affairs spokesman in Brussels Dr Charles Tannock MEP said Egypt had a bigger role to play in delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.

His comments come as the European Parliament debated the fallout following the Israeli military operation against the humanitarian flotilla.

Speaking after the debate in Strasbourg, Dr Tannock said,

"We do not wish to pre-empt the inquiry with regards to the incidents relating to the flotilla, in particular on board the Mavi Marmara. The facts will speak for themselves in due course.

"What is clear, however, is that the blockade of Gaza needs to be looked at again. There can be no doubt that Israel has justifiable concerns that allowing boats to reach the coast of Gaza without security checks could create a corridor used to transfer weapons to Hamas.

"But the flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza is also very important important. We would encourage Egypt to play a much greater role in sharing the responsibility of ensuring aid to Gaza. The Gaza strip has a long border with Egypt that can allow passage of humanitarian aid into the area, and has now been reopened on an experimental though indefinite basis, if this is successful without jeopardising Israeli security it is to be welcomed."