President Mahmoud Abbas has invited former prime minister of Norway, Kåre Willoch to award a Palestinian "passport" for his longstanding commitment to the Palestinian issue.
Photo : Robert E. Haraldsen | Kåre Willoch, the Norwegian politician from the Conservative Party (Høyre), served as Prime Minister of Norway from 1981 to 1986. Willoch has recently been among the sharpest critics of Israeli policy towards Palestinians.
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Together with the Councillor for the Conservative Party in Oslo Aamir Javed Sheikh, Willoch will travel to Middle East this coming Monday. During the visit, the former prime minister will meet with representatives of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank.
- This invitation is very nice. It is nevertheless essential to meet the Palestinians and get first hand information about how they evaluate the situation, " said Willoch to Norwegian daily VG.
In addition to meetings with Palestinian leaders, the two Conservative representatives will meet Israeli politicians including President Shimon Peres.
At the meeting next week, the Palestinian president will ask Willoch to convey the sentiments of Palestinian political leaders to Israel.
- We hope Willoch can convince the Israeli side to come to the negotiating table and get them to understand that a Palestinian state is the only way to peace, "said The Palestinian ambassador to Norway, Yaseer Najar.
Previously, several members of parliaments in Norway had announced that they would participate in the convoy in the end of June for attempting to break Israel's sea blockade of Gaza Strip.