Villepin to meet Arafat in Ramallah

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin will meet Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Monday in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

    Villepin:peace moves

    Prior to meeting Arafat, De Villepin will meet Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom
    on Sunday following his arrival in the region, a French foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
      
    The purpose of de Villepin's trip is to try jumpstart the Middle East peace process, notably through the implementation of the international roadmap, she said. 

    The talks would also centre upon developing bilateral ties with both Israel and Palestine, the spokeswoman added.

    Talks with Abbas too

    The “road map” -- drafted by the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- outlines steps to end violence, halt Jewish settlement building in Palestinian territories and create a Palestinian state by 2005.
      
    De Villepin will hold talks with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas and Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath while in Ramallah, as well as visit the Al-Amari refugee camp in the West Bank town.

    The French minister will visit Jerusalem's Hebrew University on Sunday. 


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