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Peters welcomes Israel-Hamas ceasefire

Peters welcomes Israel-Hamas ceasefire

New Zealand welcomes the cease-fire reached between Israel and Hamas, which takes effect today, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

"Egypt deserves praise for its persistent efforts during the last few months to secure this agreement, and we can only hope it will be a turning point for the region," Mr Peters said.

"We encourage both sides to remain committed to the ceasefire, which is crucial to the safety and lives of those in the region, and an essential step towards peace.

"New Zealand also hopes the ceasefire will be a major step towards a rapid improvement in the dire living conditions faced by Palestinians in Gaza.

"The humanitarian situation in Gaza has greatly concerned the international community for sometime, and we urge Israel to do what it can to help bring an end to this suffering.

"New Zealand supports the negotiation of a just, enduring and comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East, in line with Security Council resolutions and the principles derived from successive agreements between the two parties.

"We have long sought a solution based on an Israeli and a Palestinian state coexisting in peace and stability, and have contributed to peacekeeping missions in the region for many years," Mr Peters said.

ENDS

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