Statement on Gaza ceasefire

Following the announcement by Egypt of a ceasefire for Gaza, Quartet Representative Tony Blair said tonight:

"I welcome the statement from Egypt calling on the parties to implement a ceasefire to give a chance for a proper, full and long-term solution to Gaza to be put in place, and welcome the leadership Egypt has shown in doing so. Such a ceasefire can halt the tragic loss of life, stop the rockets on Israel – and open up the possibility of a genuine change in Gaza.

"But as I have said throughout this latest crisis, the only long-term solution that makes sense is one that gives hope to the people of Gaza that it will be opened back up to the world and its people allowed peace from violence of all kinds; and one which gives Israel real and permanent security from rocket attacks, tunnels and terrorism.

"The hope is that this ceasefire will allow us to put in place such a long-term strategy for the future in Gaza, and the West Bank. The international community will give its full backing to such an initiative."