UAE calls for Gaza ceasefire and humanitarian access at EU meeting

Lana Nusseibeh called for border crossing restrictions to be lifted immediately and faster screening of aid deliveries

UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2016/05/13: Lana Nusseibeh , Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations participated on the a high - level briefing on behalf of Every Woman Every Child  Everywhere, and the 5 - year implementation plan to address the health needs of women and children in humanitarian and fragile settings today at the UN Headquarters in New York. (Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Powered by automated translation

Live updates: Follow the latest news on Israel-Gaza

Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's Assistant Minister for Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said this week's meeting of Arab leaders with the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels showed that the bloc wanted closer ties with the region.

“One recurring message from my engagements here was the desire to further strengthen the co-ordination between the EU and Arab partners," Ms Nusseibeh, also envoy of the Foreign Minister to the EU, said of the two-day meeting, Wam reported on Wednesday.

She attended along with foreign ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Arab League Secretary General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday’s council session was part of a two-day set of high-level meetings focused on the war in Gaza.

The discussion focused on the Middle East Peace Process, and how to strengthen co-operation between the EU and Arab countries, with a view to finding a political solution to the conflict in Gaza.

Throughout the discussions in Brussels, Ms Nusseibeh called for an immediate ceasefire, unhindered humanitarian access, unconditional release of hostages, respect for international law, and renewed commitment by Israel and a reformed Palestinian Authority to the two-state-solution.

“The UAE is the largest bilateral humanitarian aid donor to Gaza," she said.

"Since the start of the conflict, the UAE has delivered more than 32,000 tonnes of food, medical supplies and other items essential to alleviating the suffering of the civilian population."

UAE drop aid into Gaza - in pictures

Ms Nusseibeh also provided an update on UAE efforts to provide medical treatment and access to drinking water for people in Gaza.

She briefed those present on the latest aid shipment through the maritime corridor from Cyprus, delivering 1,100 tonnes to the enclave.

Ms Nusseibeh acknowledged that such efforts cannot compensate for the lack of access through border crossings, calling for restrictions to be lifted immediately and for faster screening of aid deliveries.

"There is strong commitment on all sides to ensuring peace and security in our shared neighbourhood.”

She also held several bilateral meetings, including with Tobias Lindner, Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office, Tor Wennesland, UN special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, and Robert Oliphant, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs at the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She was accompanied by Mohamed Al Sahlawi, ambassador of the UAE to Belgium, the EU and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Abdulrahman Al Neyadi, director of the European Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Updated: May 30, 2024, 7:10 AM