Politics: PM speaks by phone with Mahmoud Abbas; proposal for Gaza aid transport

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday spoke by phone with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, with the latest Mideast developments, related European initiatives and the pending moves by the so-called "Quartet" dominating the conversation.
According to reports, Abbas positively viewed a Greek government proposal to assume the transport of humanitarian aid to Gaza, in cooperation with the United Nations, relevant authorities and, of course, in contact with the Palestinian Authority.
The proposal was confirmed on Sunday afternoon by the foreign ministry.
According to the ministry, the Greek side will immediately contact the UN and all interested parties in order to make the transport possible, within the framework requested by the UN general secretary for shipment of such aid.
The foreign ministry also detailed the reasons why Athens banned the sailing of vessels from Greek ports towards Gaza and the sea region off the Palestinian enclave, while at the same time stressing that the naval blockade of Gaza should be lifted. The ministry also reminded that Athens' positions regarding the humanitarian situation in Gaza are well known and standing.
"Greece's position of principle is well known, one in favour of respect for international law and the avoidance of violence. Greece, as is well known, actively backs the resumption of peace talks, which are the only path for a comprehensive and viable solution to the Palestinian issue, with the establishment of a Palestinian state, one that co-exists peaceful with the state of Israel," the ministry statement read.

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