angle-left Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb to visit Gaza

Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb to visit Gaza

Press Release 301/2010
13 October 2010

Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb will visit Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territory, tomorrow, Thursday 14 October.

The visit to Gaza is part of Foreign Minister Stubb’s separate agenda as part of the visit of President of the Republic Tarja Halonen and Doctor Pentti Arajärvi to the occupied Palestinian territory. President Halonen will simultaneously meet on the West Bank with, among others, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Foreign Minister Stubb will learn about the situation in Gaza hosted by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Stubb will become familiar with projects maintained by UNRWA and the EU, and he will meet representatives of human rights organizations and Palestinian businessmen. The purpose of the visit to Gaza is to get first-hand information about the situation in the area and the inhabitants’ living conditions. Foreign Minister Stubb has emphasized that the question of Gaza cannot be overshadowed by the Middle East peace process.

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton has visited Gaza twice during 2010. The most recent EU foreign minister to visit Gaza was Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin, who was there in February.

Foreign Minister Stubb has previously visited the occupied Palestinian territory in September 2008, when the site visited was the West Bank. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki visited Helsinki as Stubb’s guest in June 2010.

Additional information on the visit: Päivi Pohjanheimo, Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, mobile tel. +358 40 511 3786, and Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Press Attaché to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, mobile tel. +358 40 732 8340