Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met this morning with the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Mohammad Ibrahim Shtayyeh, shortly before participating in the International Humanitarian Conference for Gaza’s Civilian Population, which is taking place in Paris.
At the beginning of their meeting, they had the following dialogue:
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: It’s a pleasure to see you.
Mohammad Ibrahim Shtayyeh: The pleasure is mine. I hope to see you in different circumstances.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Yes, I was about to say that it would be good to meet in a different circumstance, but I think it was important for Greece to be here. We want to play an instrumental role in easing the humanitarian suffering in Gaza, and we want to see how it can be helpful in these very difficult circumstances.
Mohammad Ibrahim Shtayyeh: We need to break the embargo. The siege on Gaza is a slow death for everybody, especially for the injured. It’s not only food, but also medical supplies. Our main concern really is to be able to treat the injured. These are the ones you’re talking about, 26,000 people. I don’t know how many of them will survive. I think our priority, in addition to food and all this and all other humanitarian issues, but also to treat danger. If we and you can find a way to really provide this humanitarian assistance through whatever route possible, I think that would be a good idea. Of course, for us, as you know, the most important thing is that whatever we do, we don’t or it will not be used as a way for people to get out. That’s something that we want fully and totally avoid because we know what the Israeli intentions are. What the Israeli intention is to push as many Palestinians out.
During the meeting, they discussed the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. The Prime Minister reiterated his growing concern about civilian casualties and stressed the need for humanitarian pauses to ensure a steady flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated Greece’s readiness to assist with humanitarian aid, and that Greece is in contact with the Republic of Cyprus and the partners involved on the possibility of creating a humanitarian corridor by sea for the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
The Prime Minister stressed that Hamas is a terrorist organisation and that it does not represent the Palestinian people. He reiterated that the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people is the Palestinian Authority and underlined Greece’s long-standing support for the two-state solution. Finally, he noted that only a political solution on this basis can guarantee peace between Israelis and Palestinians and stability in the region.