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Thursday, 26 April 2007 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Kidnapping in Gaza of the journalist Alan Johnston

  Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou (PPE-DE), author. – (EL) Madam President, allow me too to express my regret about this incident. Yet another journalist who had the courage to work in difficult and dangerous conditions has fallen victim to kidnappers, thereby also depriving us of the information which we politicians and international public opinion can get about the tragic conditions that prevail in the area.

I trust that the fact that this has galvanised public opinion and the political leadership in the Palestinian territories and the efficacy of the National Unity Government, which is becoming more visible day by day, will help to bring about the release of the journalist Alan Johnston, identify those responsible and apportion responsibility.

A mission of members, including me and some of my honourable friends present in the House, shall be going to the Palestinian territories next week. Within the framework of international conventions and our bilateral relations with the Palestinian Authority, we shall convey our concern and exert all possible pressure – if the matter has not already been resolved – to get Alan Johnston released and to secure as many guarantees for the safety of local citizens and visitors to the area as possible.

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