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EU calls for pauses in Gaza bombing to allow humanitarian aid access

Brussels, Belgium | Xinhua | European leaders on Friday called for “pauses for humanitarian needs” to allow aid into Gaza through humanitarian corridors.

During the two-day EU summit that ended on Friday in Brussels, leaders of the 27-member bloc held heated discussions over the conflicts between Israel and Hamas and between Ukraine and Russia.

European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday that the escalation of the conflict in Gaza was extremely dangerous to the region and the world, and that the EU was working to avoid this.

“The European Council reiterates the importance of ensuring the protection of all civilians at all times in line with international humanitarian law,” said the official statement issued after the summit.

The leaders also said the EU “supports the holding of an international peace conference soon.”

Humanitarian convoys have been trickling in since Oct. 21 after two weeks of no cargo going into Gaza, but their scale and frequency is nowhere near enough, a World Food Programme official said at a press briefing in Geneva on Friday.

Regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the European heads of state and government confirmed their commitment to continue providing military support to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility and the EU Military Assistance Mission, as well as bilateral assistance by the member states.

Hungary and Slovakia, however, have been reluctant to approve the bloc’s draft budget for 2024, which includes new financing commitments for Ukraine.

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