Norway, Sweden urge end to Gaza violence

December 28th, 2008 - 3:05 am ICT by IANS  

Oslo/Stockholm, Dec 28 (DPA) Norway and Sweden Saturday joined international calls for an end to the violence in the Gaza Strip and urged both Israel and Hamas to show restraint.Norwegian State Secretary Raymond Johansen “deplored” that the ceasefire had ended. “One way or another the ceasefire has to be restored,” Johansen told Norwegian news agency NTB.

Oslo was in touch with both Palestinian officials and Israel but had not succeeded in extending a ceasefire, and supported the European Union’s efforts in the region.

Johansen said Egypt likely had the greatest means of influencing Israel and Hamas.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told Swedish radio news it was “regrettable” that the ceasefire had not been extended and there was “danger” for an escalation that would cause “further suffering”.

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