Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad to Hold Discussions with Palestinian Counterpart Abdullah Abdullah,Tshwane, South Africa Monday, 6 June 2005

Tshwane - South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad will host Palestinian Deputy Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah for political discussions at the Diplomatic Guesthouse in Tshwane on Monday, 6 June 2005.
It is expected that Deputy Minister Abdullah will brief Deputy Minister Pahad:

· on recent developments in Palestine including the outcomes of discussions between President George Bush and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held in Washington on 26 May 2005;
· the impact of the scheduled Israeli withdrawal from Gaza on the people of Palestine; and
· And the reform of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

For his part, Deputy Minister Pahad will brief Deputy Minister Abdullah on regional and continental developments including peacekeeping and conflict resolution efforts in Africa, NEPAD and the reform of the UN.
Deputy Minister Abdullah's visit is part of South Africa's ongoing engagement with various sectors of Palestinian and Israeli society with a view to assisting the people of Palestine and Israel find a viable, just and lasting solution to their current challenges.

In this regard, South Africa hosted the Presidential Peace Retreat in January 2002 at the Spier Estate, Cape Town in which senior Israeli and Palestinian delegates participated and several other meetings thereafter.

The South African government supports the creation of a viable Palestinian State based on its position that only a two-state solution can help bring about a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
5 June 2005


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