Solana Cancels Visit to Beirut, Again
European Union policy chief, Javier Solana, had canceled his scheduled visit to Lebanon for the second time in less than 24 hours, Lebanese officials said Tuesday.
Solana had been due to arrive in Beirut on Tuesday morning, but “due to the deteriorating situation in the West Bank and Gaza, he told the Foreign Ministry he would not be able to visit Beirut as promised,” a source told the Daily Star newspaper.
He changed his itinerary and flew to Gaza instead.
His present tour of the Middle East is intended to explain the EU’s strategy and its role in achieving a lasting peace settlement between the Arabs and Israelis.
Solana started his tour of the Middle East on Sunday and has already visited Egypt, Syria and Gaza and Jordan.
He is scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Wednesday.
During his visit to Amman Tuesday, Solana and King Abdullah held talks on ways to implement the Mitchell report and end Israeli violence against the Palestinians, reported the Jordan Times newspaper.
A senior official said after the talks that Jordan was exerting all efforts to “contain” Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and put an end to his policies against the Palestinians.
“The kingdom was continuing efforts to engage Sharon on a diplomatic level, in order to at least partially prevent him from concentrating exclusively on the use of sheer military force,” an official told The Jordan Times.
King Abdullah, who returned to Jordan Tuesday from an official visit to Kuwait, and Solana agreed on the importance of international and US endorsement of the Mitchell report, which was published in its entirety on Tuesday in the US, and reviewed possible scenarios for a ceasefire, the source added – Albawaba.com