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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 22 October 2012

High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton travels to the Middle East

Brussels, 22 October 2012 – Catherine Ashton, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, is in Jordan today for the first leg of a five-day visit to the Middle East. On Monday 22 October, she will meet with King Abdullah II and Jordanian Foreign Minister Judeh in Amman. She will also visit the Zaatary Refugee camp and meet with refugees from the crisis in Syria.

The High Representative will meet Lebanese leaders in Beirut on Tuesday 23 October. In Jerusalem on Wednesday 24 October, she will meet Israeli President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Lieberman and Minister of Defence Barak, before meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad. She will meet Palestinian President Abbas on Thursday 25 October.

On the eve of her visit, Catherine Ashton said: "This is a critical time for the wider Middle East. The close cooperation between the European Union and our partners in the region is essential to help us deal with the political, strategic and humanitarian challenges we face at this time. The objective of this trip is to take this cooperation forward as effectively as possible."

Photographs of the trip will be available on Europe by Satellite

Contacts :

Maja Kocijancic (+32 2 298 65 70)

Michael Mann (+32 2 299 97 80)

Nabila Massrali (+32 2 296 92 18)

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