January 28, 2009
Copenhagen to host Gaza anti-smuggling meeting
01.28.2009 | The Copenhagen Post
Senior US, European and Middle Eastern officials are coming to Denmark next week to discuss plans to prevent weapons being smuggled into Gaza
On the back of a joint Danish-American initiative, a number of foreign representatives will be invited to Copenhagen next week to decide on a plan of action against weapons-smuggling to Hamas in Gaza.
Unnamed Israeli sources describe it as an international conference while European diplomats have called it an expert workshop.
President Obama announced the meeting on the same day that the US Navy had to release an Iranian cargo ship in the Red Sea, which was carrying a cargo of weapons purportedly to Hamas.
A senior source with knowledge of the meeting told TV2 News that ‘the meeting in Copenhagen will focus solely on a possible maritime effort.’
The source said that countries involved in the talks could look towards the international flotilla that has been patrolling the Lebanese coast for more than two years, in a bid to prevent weapons smuggling to the Hizbollah militants in southern Lebanon.
Another option would be to look to the countries currently engaged in the international naval task force in the Gulf of Aden, currently trying to prevent maritime attacks by Somali pirates.
Other possible topics on the agenda will include the allocation and deployment of troops, which could include Nato forces to monitor and patrol the Egypt-Gaza border.
The meeting comes following the anti-smuggling deal signed between then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on 16 January.
It is not thought that heads of state or foreign ministers will take part in the meeting, but rather senior officials.