Quraya talks 'barrier' with Berlusconi

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya takes his campaign against Israel's controversial separation barrier to Italy on Tuesday when he meets Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome.

    Quraya will repeat call for urgent 'quartet' meeting on road map

    Quraya is due to arrive in the afternoon from Ireland, which holds the EU presidency, for his second stop of a six-country tour of Europe with the barrier dominating his agenda.

    He is scheduled to have dinner with Berlusconi after the Italian prime minister's return from holding talks in Tripoli with Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi.
     
    Quraya's talks with Berlusconi will focus on the barrier and his call in Dublin for an urgent meeting of the international quartet sponsoring the Middle East road map for peace.

    The quartet comprises the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States.

    Quraya called in Dublin for the quartet to make a "very strong  intervention, very serious action, and immediate, to stop" construction of the separation barrier.
     
    Hearings to begin

    The Hague-based International Court of Justice is scheduled to begin hearings on 23 February into the legality of the barrier.

    Quraya is also scheduled to pay
    Pope John Paul a visit

    Quraya will pay a visit to President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi on Wednesday before holding talks with Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, Palestinian sources said.
     
    Frattini said in an interview with the daily Corriere della Sera on Tuesday Quraya was a "moderate who sincerely wanted peace" in the Middle East.

    The Palestinian prime minister will also meet the leaders of Italy's main political parties and the heads of the foreign affairs committees of both houses of parliament.

    Early on Thursday, he will have an audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican who late last year condemned the Israeli barrier.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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