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The EU must now step up to the mark on Lebanon crisis - Bairbre de Brún

1 August, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today urged the European Union to press the United States, Britain and Israel into accepting "an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon and an end to the siege of Palestine".

Ms de Brún made her comments as European Union Foreign Ministers gather for crisis talks on the Middle East in Brussels today.

Speaking this morning Ms de Brún said:

"Today's meeting of EU Foreign Ministers presents a serious test for European leaders. The European Union is in a position of influence and must utilise this to call for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon and an end to the siege of Palestine.

"The European Union has thus far been muted in its response to the deteriorating situation in the Middle East. People are expecting the EU to show positive political leadership in the time ahead and assert its opposition to Israeli aggression.

"The sense of desperation felt across the Middle East is increasing daily. The massacre in Qana, Lebanon should be enough of an incentive for European Ministers to reach a consensus and progressive way forward. An immediate end to hostilities is the least that European Ministers must demand at this time. But they need to go further than this - they must actively work as persuaders for this path of action.

"The longer the international community stands idly by the more civilians will die in Lebanon and Palestine, and the greater the humanitarian disaster. The EU must now step up to the mark." ENDS

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