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Sunday, September 27, 2009
Turkish PM reminds UN of failed promises given to Gaza
Despite eight months having passed since the declaration of a ceasefire that ended the conflict in Gaza, the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza still goes on, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday in an address in the general debate of the UN General Assembly.
The Israeli army launched a deadly offensive on Gaza last December, leaving more than 1,300 people dead. Turkey's harsh criticism of Israel at the time strained bilateral relations between the two countries.
Restrictions imposed by Israel have been thwarting the reconstruction of Gaza, Erdogan said.
“Turkey has on every possible occasion stressed that it is not possible to turn a blind eye to the appalling conditions in Gaza. It is our common humanitarian and moral responsibility to ensure that the tragedy unfolding in Gaza is brought to an end, and an atmosphere of lasting peace is created in the region,” Erdogan said.
“It has been eight months since the declaration of the ceasefire that ended the conflict in Gaza,” he said, while underlining that six months had passed since an international conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, pledged billions of dollars for the reconstruction of the area. “However, I regret that the human tragedy in Gaza is still going on.”
[in Gaza] are living in tents, drinking water cannot be found; are we fulfilling our humanitarian duty vis-à-vis this situation? I wonder what the UN is able to do, what the (UN) Security Council is able to do. We have to focus on this with sensitivity. Promises given to Gaza have not been kept. As with events during the offensive, Gaza has been left to its own fate following the offensive and the destruction.”