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13 Jan, 2015

Spanish Foreign Minister Arrives in Ramallah, To Visit Gaza

RAMALLAH, January 12, 2015 (WAFA) – Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo arrived in Ramallah on Monday in a Middle East tour to look into the situation in the Palestinian territories, with the Gaza Strip tour as the highlight of the regional visit.

The Spanish delegation headed by Garcia-Margallo met with Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki and signed a Joint agreement for Cooperation, which includes the framework of cooperation between Spain and Palestine. The delegation will meet with the Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and a group from the Spanish community in Palestine.

Garcia-Margallo is scheduled to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas during his time in the Jordanian capital Amman.

This tour coincides with granting Spain a non-permanent member status at the United Nations Security Council, according to a statement from the Spanish Foreign Ministry. It comes less than two months after the Spanish parliament called for recognizing Palestine as a state in November 18.

Margallo is expected to visit the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as part of a tour that includes Jordan, Israel and the occupied West Bank.

During his visit to Gaza, the Spanish Foreign Minister will seek to have an idea about the conditions of the territory, a UN official told The Anadolu Agency.

The visit is not the first of its kind; Margallo held a similar tour in 2013, in order to identify the situation in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s war last summer. Margallo will also meet with UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl.

Margallo and Krähenbühl will inspect the most affected neighborhoods in the recent military operations in Gaza, and visit a number of projects that have received financial support from Spain.

He will also seek to know the needs of people affected by the latest Israeli offensive on Gaza, Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, added.

Before arriving in Palestine, Margallo met with the Jordanian King Abdullah II, the Jordanian Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and a number of Spanish businessmen working in the Hashemite Kingdom.

Margallo is scheduled to end the regional tour in Israel where he is expected to hold business meetings with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and a number of Spanish businessmen.