Foreign Minister against EU guarding Rafah border

According to the Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, the Czech Republic will not back the idea of the European Union monitoring the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The incentive for just such an operation was discussed by EU foreign ministers on Monday, one day after the EU commissioner for the Middle East, Marc Otte, met with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials. Guarding the border to prevent, for example, against the smuggling of weapons, would mean unprecedented EU involvement. Appeals to the European Union have been made by both Israeli and Palestinian representatives.

So far, the EU's foreign ministers have approved to dispatch 50 senior police officers to the Palestinian territories, to take part in training Palestinian police. The Czechs reportedly will have two officers in the group.

Author: Jan Velinger