Situation in the Middle East: PACE sub-committee to visit Jordan and the Palestinian Territories
Strasbourg, 04.04.2013 – The members of the Sub-Committee on the Middle East of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), chaired by Josette Durrieu (France, SOC), will make a visit to Jordan on 6 and 7 April, and then to the Palestinian Territories on 8 and 9 April.
In Amman, the delegation will have a private audience with King Abdullah II. It will meet the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Arab and International Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the Jordanian Parliament, representatives of political parties and the diplomatic community. The members of the sub-committee will also make a visit organised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp, in Jordan.
In Ramallah, meetings are scheduled with the Palestinian President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs the Minister for Prisoners, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Chief Negotiator of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian delegation to PACE, NGOs and diplomatic representatives. The delegation will also visit the Beit Eil settlement area and the Am'ari Palestinian refugee camp, as well as the Old City of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
The Palestinian National Council (PNC) was awarded "Partner for Democracy" status by PACE on 4 October 2011. This status allows parliamentary delegations from countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and central Asia to take part in the Assembly's activities in return for commitments to pursue the values upheld by the Council of Europe, hold free and fair elections and work towards abolishing the death penalty, among others.
During this visit, Pietro Marcenaro (Italy, SOC), rapporteur on the Middle East, and Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), rapporteur on evaluation of the Partnership for Democracy with the PNC, will be gathering information for the preparation of their respective reports.
The sub-committee will shortly organise a similar visit to Israel.