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Livni off to Washington
Photo: Reuters
Livni to get US aid against smuggling
Foreign minister to travel to Washington to secure international outlined agreement preventing Hamas from rearming itself

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is scheduled to leave for Washington Thursday night in order to sum up an outlined agreement with the United States intended to prevent the smuggling of arms into the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved the trip.

 

The Foreign Ministry was assigned to the task of working with international powers to secure the outlined agreement, which Israel hopes will prevent the arming of Hamas.

 

The purpose of the agreement is to prevent the smuggling of arms from Egypt through the Philadelphi route. Foreign Ministry Director-General Aharon Abramowitz is already in Washington, where he has promoted efforts to reduce smuggling by land and sea.

 

The plan is to locate in advance the seaways from the Persian Gulf, Sudan and other countries, through which weapons have been transferred – including Grad missiles developed in Iran and fired by Hamas into Israeli cities more than 20 kilometers away from the Gaza Strip. The agreement is also aimed at preventing the delivery of longer range rockets in the future.

 

Talks on the issue are also being held with NATO, the European Union, and various countries as part of Israel's plan to secure international guarantees not solely reliant upon Hamas or Egypt.

 

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