January 6, 2009 / 11:13 PM / 12 years ago

France and Turkey willing to give monitors for Gaza

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - France and Turkey said on Tuesday they were willing to contribute to an international monitoring team for a cease-fire in Gaza, where Israel launched a ground offensive last weekend.

“International monitoring mechanisms might prove necessary and we are willing to contribute to this,” French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told a session of the U.N. Security Council.

Kouchner said France was awaiting Israel’s response to a cease-fire proposal announced by Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and “we harbour hope that it will be a positive one.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan also said his country, which has been active in trying to end the violence in Gaza, would be prepared to contribute monitors.

“If Turkey is asked to be in such an international monitoring team, we are going to be of course willing to be there,” Babacan told reporters before the special U.N. session.

Reporting by Sue Pleming and Claudia Parsons; Editing by John O'Callaghan

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