Timmermans to visit Maghreb, Middle East and Turkey
Next week, foreign minister Frans Timmermans will visit Tunisia, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Turkey.
The purpose of the trip is to invest in bilateral relations, contribute to the sustainable democratisation of the Arab region, promote human rights, and discuss the American initiative to revive the peace process in the Middle East and a possible EU and Dutch contribution to that initiative.
On 16 June Mr Timmermans will visit Tunisia. In Tunis he will attend the launch of StoryMaker, an app by Free Press Unlimited, which journalists, activists and human rights defenders can use to make better stories and share them more safely. While there, the minister will also meet with journalists, hackers and bloggers.
In Tunis, on Monday 17 June, Mr Timmermans will deliver the opening speech at the Third Freedom Online Conference, a gathering of a group of countries committed to a free internet. The first meeting was held in late 2011 in the Netherlands. Mr Timmermans will close his visit to Tunisia with a series of meetings, including one with his Tunisian counterpart Othman Jarandi.
On Monday evening he will travel on to Israel, where he will speak with Prime Minister Netanyahu and visit the Holocaust memorial centre Yad Vashem.
On the afternoon of Tuesday 18 June, the minister will go to the Palestinian Territories, which he will speak with President Abbas and Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi of UNRWA, the UN body for Palestinian refugees.
During his visit a meeting is also planned with Quartet representative Tony Blair.
On Wednesday 19 June, Mr Timmermans will head to Turkey, where he will visit a camp for Syrian refugees. In Turkey he will also meet members of local councils from Syria. Finally, he will speak with staff of the Dutch Patriot mission in Adana.