The Outer

A joint statement by the European Union and 5 countries on activating the sea corridor to deliver aid to Gaza

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Cypriot Foreign Minister Konstantinos Kombos discussed with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, European Union Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs David Cameron, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Qatari Minister of State Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, and the United Nations Chief Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs and Reconstruction in Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, in a virtual ministerial consultative meeting, regarding planning to open a sea corridor that would allow the delivery of much-needed additional humanitarian aid to Gaza through the activation of a seaport.

The US State Department said, in a joint statement: The ministers agreed that there is no alternative to land routes through Egypt, Jordan, and crossings to Gaza to deliver aid on a large scale. They also agreed that opening the port of Ashdod to humanitarian aid will complete the corridor in an important and welcome way.

The Ministers committed to continuing their engagement and sending senior officials to Cyprus during the week of March 18 to receive detailed briefings on the continued operationalization of the corridor, including US military planning efforts to establish a temporary dock capable of receiving large amounts of humanitarian aid.

Senior officials will also hold consultations on the possibility of establishing a joint fund to support the sea corridor and coordinate in-kind and financial contributions to ensure its sustainability.

The Ministers reaffirmed that this sea corridor can – and must – be part of ongoing efforts to increase the flow of humanitarian aid and commercial goods to Gaza via all possible routes, including expanded land routes and continued air deliveries, by working closely with Coordinator Sigrid. CAG is charged with facilitating, coordinating, monitoring and verifying the flow of aid to Gaza in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2720.

The ministers stressed the need for Israel to open additional crossings to allow more aid to reach Gaza, including the northern Gaza Strip, and to ease comprehensive customs restrictions to facilitate the increased flow of life-saving humanitarian aid.

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