EU foreign policy chief Solana to tour Middle East

Earth Times (Link) (August 28, 2009)

The European Union's top diplomat, Javier Solana, plans to tour the Middle East next week as part of international efforts to find a resolution to the Israeli-Arab conflict, officials in Brussels said Friday. Solana, whose official title is "EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy", is expected in Damascus on Sunday for meetings with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Al-Mouallem.

On Monday, Solana travels to Israel for talks with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli government ministers.

Those meetings will take place against the backdrop of a simmering row between Israel and Sweden, the current holder of the EU's rotating presidency, over a recent Swedish tabloid report alleging that Israeli soldiers stole the organs of Palestinian children.

Solana will then head to Ramallah, where he plans to meet Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and officials from the EU's EUPOL mission, which is providing training and equipment to the local police force.

The EU foreign policy chief will on Tuesday head to Beirut before evening talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.