(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The EU Wednesday welcomed the ceasefire agreement in Gaza and said that the humanitarian situation there must now be urgently addressed. It also called on the parties to respect the ceasefire.
"We commend Egypt's mediation efforts and urge the Israelis and Palestinians to seize this opportunity to negotiate a comprehensive and sustainable agreement. Simply returning to the situation before the latest conflict is not an option," said EU High Representative Catherine Ashton in a statement. She said that a sustainable agreement should address all the root causes of the conflict and bring fundamental change to the situation in Gaza. "The socio-economic conditions should be improved by ending the Gaza closure regime. The Palestinian government of national consensus, under the leadership of President Abbas, should exercise effective administration of the Gaza Strip," said the EU foreign policy chief.
" Hamas and other militant groups must stop all threats to Israel. A durable peace can only be achieved through the resumption of the Middle East peace process, leading to a two state solution," said Ashton.
The EU is ready to contribute, together with the international community, to a lasting solution meeting the legitimate security, humanitarian and socio-economic needs of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, added the statement.