Foreign Minister starts Mideast tour in West Bank

11th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Sept 10, 2007 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner arrived in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank on Monday, at the start of his first major tour of the Middle East.

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Sept 10, 2007 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner arrived in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank on Monday, at the start of his first major tour of the Middle East.

His first meeting was with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah. He will also meet with leaders in Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon during his visit in the region.

Kouchner said he wanted to assess the situation firsthand before the UN General Assembly convenes in New York at the end of this month.

Another top European diplomat was also in the region Monday. Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado, whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union, pledged the bloc's full support for the peace process after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem.

Amado praised the creation of negotiating teams between Israel and the Palestinian Authority "as a new element and gives an impetus to the negotiations that we hope will lead to an accord during the (peace) conference expected in November," he told Portuguese journalists.

Abbas and Olmert at a meeting in Jerusalem earlier Monday reaffirmed their commitment to a two-state solution and appointed negotiating teams ahead of the planned US-sponsored peace conference.

AFP

Subject: French news

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