World Bulletin/News Desk
Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard has condemned Israel’s expansion of settlements in the Occupied Territories ahead of a visit to Gaza and Israel.
Speaking ahead of his arrival in Tel Aviv on Monday, Lidegaard said in a statement that a two-state solution was the only way to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
He said: "To me it is very important to experience the situation first hand. The Israeli announcements of further settlements seem to be a hindrance for the two-state solution, which is the only sustainable solution for the area."
"It affects the situation in Europe, too, and my point of view is very clear: We condemn settlements and other initiatives which stand in the way for the peaceful solution for the Middle East, and this message I’ll deliver clearly on behalf of both Denmark and the EU," he added.
Danish officials confirmed Lidegaard's visit on Monday, the exact date of which had been withheld for security reasons, to Anadolu Agency shortly before he touched down in the Israeli capital.
Lidegaard is scheduled to meet the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman and Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni.
In Palestine, he is to meet President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki as well as members of civil societies and international organizations.
A Danish government spokesman said Lidegaard was expected to return to Denmark on Thursday night or Friday.
Lidegaard and his team are expected to also discuss ways of ensuring much-needed basic supplies reach the Gaza Strip ahead of the winter season.
The "two-state solution" envisages an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel "within secure and recognized borders", according to a framework for resolving the conflict laid out within UN resolutions.
Last Mod: 03 Kasım 2014, 13:37