OPT: UN chief dismayed at lack of reconstruction materials in Gaza

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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday expressed his dismay at the lack of reconstruction materials in Gaza.

The UN chief made his point during a telephone conversation with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack.

"The secretary-general expressed appreciation for the fact that limited amounts of glass were now being allowed into Gaza for the repair of homes but pressed for further imports of needed material for reconstruction," said the UN Spokesman's Office in a statement.

"They also discussed the urgent need for overcoming obstacles to resuming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

The statement also said that the UN chief met U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, on Tuesday.

The two men discussed the importance of overcoming obstacles to resuming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the role of the Middle East Quartet -- the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States, said the statement.

Both Israel and Egypt have restricted travel to and from the Gaza Strip since Hamas took power there in June 2007. Israel only allows in daily essentials which are supplemented by what smugglers can bring in through tunnels from neighboring Egypt.

Editor: Lin Zhi