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Posted on: July 7th, 2012 by AlYunaniya Staff No Comments

European Commission president to visit West Bank

Barroso Jose Manuel - source EU

photo: EU

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European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories beginning Saturday, according to an announcement by his office.

The visit is “an opportunity to express the EU’s longstanding commitment to a negotiated solution for the Middle East Peace Process that guarantees a just and lasting settlement of the conflict”.

“The visit will also offer an occasion to discuss with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders the situation in the region, notably the transitions taking place in the Arab world, the situation in Syria and Iran,” the statement added.

On Sunday, President Barroso will be visiting the occupied Palestinian territory and will be holding meetings with President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad.

On Monday, President Barroso will meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Speaker of the Knesset MK Reuven Rivlin and will participate in an official dinner hosted by President Shimon Peres.

Barroso, who is president of the European Commission, arrives from Cyprus to Israel and the occupied territories, in a first visit since taking the helm of the EU executive in 2004, his office said.

The EU has condemned Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

The EU is the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority contributing with over half of total international financial assistance.

Last month, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged the Israeli government to demonstrate its commitment to peace by reversing plans to build new settlements inside the West Bank and close to East Jerusalem.

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