Despite the request of the Secretary General of the United Nations, the recommendations of the EU reflected in the conclusions of the European Council, yesterday’s relevant appeal of the Quartet and the Greek Foreign Ministry’s urging not to participate in the flotilla attempting to break the Gaza blockade, certain groups of Greek and foreign citizens, without having received the necessary permission required according to the rules of safety, insisted to go through with the enterprise.
In light of these developments and concerned primarily with the protection and safety of human life, the Greek Government decided to ban the departure from Greek ports of vessels with Greek or foreign flags bound for Gaza.
Greece’s stance regarding the need to lift the Gaza blockade and to improve the humanitarian conditions in the area is known and remains unchanged. Greece’s positions of principle for the need to respect international law and not to resort to the use of force are also well known. Greece, as it is widely known, actively supports the resumption of peace talks, which constitute the only road to a comprehensive and viable resolution of the Palestinian issue, with the creation of a Palestinian state that will coexist peacefully with the state of Israel. These positions have been made clear to all concerned parties.
In this context, Greece reiterates its willingness and proposes to undertake the task of transporting the humanitarian aid, with Greek vessels or other appropriate means, through the existing channels as requested by the Secretary General of the United Nations
To this avail, Greece will come into immediate and direct contact with the UN and all the concerned parties, in order to render the mission feasible on behalf of our country.
In this critical conjuncture, we should all demonstrate a sense of responsibility or assume entirely and exclusively the responsibility for our actions. The Government will act as it must in an orderly fashion and according to the laws of the State.