Summary: 5 July 2012, Brussels - European Commission President Barroso visits Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory 7-10 July 2012
The President's visit to Israel and to the Occupied Palestinian Territory is a testimony to the importance the Commission attaches to the relations with these important members of our Southern Neighbourhood. It will also be 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. Israel is a close partner with which we have important political relations based on shared values and intense economic, social, cultural and scientific links. Moreover the EU isIsrael's leading trade partner with total volume of trade amounting to 29.4 billion Euros in 2011. The EU also has close relations with the Palestinian Authority and has been firmly supporting the Palestinian state-building process.
The EU - European Commission and MemberStates- is the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority contributing with over half of total international financial assistance. On Sunday 8 July President Barroso will be visiting the occupied Palestinian territory and will be holding meetings with President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. On Monday, 9 July, 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. President Barroso will also pay visits to Yad Vashem and to theIsraelMuseum. On Tuesday, 10 July, President Barroso will receive an honorary doctorate from theUniversityofHaifaand will deliver a keynote speech.