Finland FM visits in Gaza as Abbas hopes talks will resume
Finland's Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb on Thursday visited Gaza Strip. The visit to Gaza was part of Stubb's separate agenda within the framework of the visit of Finnish President Tarja Halonen to the occupied Palestinian territory. Stubb learnt about the situation in Gaza aftrer being hosted by UNRWA. During the visit, he met representatives of human rights organizations and Palestinian businessmen. The most recent EU foreign minister to visit Gaza was Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin, who was there in February.
Meanwhile in the West Bank, the Palestinian president said on Thursday he expected Washington to convince Israel to halt settlement construction activities so direct peace talks can resume. Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was "still putting obstacles" in the path of peace talks. But voicing a hope that this would change, he said: "Let's focus on hope and not failure."
Abbas was speaking at a news conference with Halonen.