EU commissioner to visit West Bank
Published Saturday 07/07/2012 (updated) 08/07/2012 18:04
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will visit Israel and the occupied territories beginning Saturday, an announcement said.
The visit is "testimony to the importance the Commission attaches to the relations with these important members" of the region and "an opportunity to express the EU's longstanding commitment to a negotiated solution for the Middle East."
The statement also said the visit would offer an occasion to discuss with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders the situation in the region, notably events in the Arab world, the situation in Syria and Iran.
"Israel is a close partner with which we have important political relations based on shared values and intense economic, social, cultural and scientific links," the statement said.
"The EU also has close relations with the Palestinian Authority and has been firmly supporting the Palestinian state-building process," it added, noting that EU states contributed majority of funding to Palestinians.
He is expected to meet President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Sunday.