Visit of Catherine Asthon to Gaza: 20/06/2013
On 20 June 2013, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, went to Gaza to visit a project of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) with Filippo Grandi, Commissioner General of the UNRWA. This video shows a press briefing given by Catherine Ashton following her visit.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC (in ENGLISH): We support the work of UNRWA and want to see a future for the people of Gaza. I have been here several times and I know that it is not enough just to come and spend a little time here. You get lots of visitors in Gaza, but what really matters is what impact we have. I want to share with you our commitment to saying that we want to see the crossings open, and the economic situation improved. And the children who are having such a good time at summer school, having a real future.I want to thank Filippo Grandi and UNRWA for all the work they do. Without them, the situation would be much worse. And I commit that we will continue to be the strongest supporter, that we will give the financial support that is needed, but also the political support. And as I began, I am really honoured to be in Gaza today. Thank you. (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): I come back in Gaza because Gaza is important. But what is important for you is what happens when we leave Gaza and the efforts we put into to try to change the situation. And that means economic support for the people here, helping to make sure that the businesses that can grow do grow, that the children here have education, Summer school and prospects for the future, but more than anything we put the weight 27 countries of the EU behind a solution. We have many times said very strongly our views on this and we stand behind those views clearly. So I know, just standing here from time to time is not enough and we will do everything we can to try to make the situation improved as quickly as possible. I was a chair of the governance of a school and I am a mother and I used to be very nervous about interrupting children with lots of photographers and journalists. What we have always done is make sure that there are pictures of me with the children. Pictures of me playing games with the children. And I do not know the logistics that are organised here. But what I will say is that if you all came in to where the children are, the children could not play any more. And it is very important that the children get to do what they are doing normally. And I think respecting children's ability to play privately is a good thing. And we will make sure you get some pictures because I certainly not frightened of having pictures with children, it is something I love. (4 shots)