Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad to Travel to Israel and Palestine Following World Economic Forum in Jordan

Amman - Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad will, on conclusion of the World Economic Forum in Jordan, depart on Sunday, 22 May 2005 for Israel and Palestine where he will attend a meeting regarding the situation in the Middle East scheduled for Monday - Tuesday, 23 - 24 May 2005 respectively.

This historical meeting, that will be hosted by both Israel and Palestine, will focus on the crucial issue of peace in the Middle East with the participation of key actors of the process in the region itself, at a time when major developments are taking place there and the future of the Israeli and Palestinian people is a fundamental priority for the international community as a whole.

South Africa's participation in the meeting comes amid its objective of promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and post-conflict reconstruction and development in the Middle East. In this regard, South Africa focuses on promoting the continued dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians and ensuring that the peace camps in both countries are strengthened.

Participants in the meeting will include the Israel Labour Party, the Yachad Party, Fatah and Socialist International representatives, and will underline the necessity of continuing engagement with the search for peace in this region and the International's contribution as a platform both for dialogue and initiatives in favour of the resolution of this conflict.

In addition, participating countries will look at the issues of global governance including the reform of the United Nations and all its institutions and the burning issue of social cohesion.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
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20 May 2005

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