Arab League chief, ministers to visit Gaza
Cairo, November 18, 2012
The head of the Arab League and a group of Arab foreign ministers will visit Gaza on Tuesday to show solidarity with Palestinians under Israeli attack, officials said on Sunday.
Israeli forces struck Gaza militants for a fifth straight day on Sunday and its military prepared for a possible ground invasion, although Egypt, which is trying to mediate, held out hopes that a ceasefire could be reached.
Arab league ministers had called at an earlier meeting for a mission to go to Gaza. Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby told reporters in Cairo the visit would take place on Tuesday. A League source said Elaraby would lead the delegation.
Earlier, Egypt Foreign Ministry announced that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will arrive in Egypt on Monday for talks with the Egyptian president and other officials.
It did not give details of his planned discussions, only saying he would talk about regional issues. Egypt is negotiating a truce over Gaza and President Mohamed Mursi, who Ban is due to meet on Tuesday, has said there were "some indications" that a deal could be soon.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama said on Sunday he fully supported Israel's right to defend itself and called for an end to the firing of missiles into Israel by militants inside Gaza in order for a peace process to go ahead.
"There's no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders," he said. "We are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself."
Obama was speaking at a news conference in Thailand during a Southeast Asian tour. - Reuters
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