Visit of Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia to the Palestinian Autonomous Territories - Foundation Office Palestinian Territories
After a briefing by the head of the German representative office, Jörg Ranau, a presentation for the Prime Minister and his delegation was given by a representative of the Palestinian Negotiation Support Unit (NSU), a think tank of the PLO for negotiations with Israel, on the difficulties caused by the closure system and the Israeli settlements to a future viable Palestinian state.
During a visit to the Talitha Kuma School (which is under German sponsorship) in Beit Jala near Bethlehem, a vivid talk took place between pupils, teachers and Prime Minister Rüttgers. The latter expressed his worries about the difficult situation that the school faces.
In a conversation with the minister of tourism, Kholoud Daibes, Dr. Rüttgers discussed the issues of tourism and the Christian minority. Further topics covered the recent political development, the unity government and the position of Germany in this context.
In Ramallah, Dr. Rüttgers visited the company Pharmacare. Bassem Khoury, director of Pharmacare and president of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, a partner of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), informed the Prime Minister about the economic situation in the Palestinian Territories.
In an ensuing discussion with cooperation partners of the KAS and other representatives from the Palestinian civil society, Dr. Rüttgers stressed his hope that economic development and a good education of the people could prepare the ground for peace in the region.
Furthermore, concrete possibilities of cooperation between North Rhine-Westphalia and the Palestinian Territories, like student exchange programs or support for the establishment of public structures, were considered. In addition, diverse means of cooperation in the economic field were discussed, e.g. in the telecommunication or textile sector.
Dr. Rüttgers visit was concluded by an exchange of opinions with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority and chairman of the executive committee of the PLO.