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Lib Dem frontbenchers to visit Israel

March 26, 2004 12:00 AM

Two members of the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet, Tom Brake MP and Paul Keetch MP, are to visit Israel from 26-30 March 2004.

Tom Brake is Shadow International Development Secretary and Paul Keetch is the Shadow Defence Secretary. Ben Rawlence, a foreign policy adviser to the Liberal Democrats, and research office Natalie Quest will accompany them on the visit.

The provisional schedule includes visits to:

  • Palestinians in the Occupied Territories
  • Collete Avital, Labour MK and former Israeli diplomat who has served in Brussels, Paris and New York
  • Ran Gidor, of the UK section of the Israeli foreign ministry
  • Reshef Cheyne, Shinui MK
  • British Israel Group (British expats in Israel)
  • Intelligence briefing from Harry Kneital at the foreign ministry
  • Military briefing from Yossi Kuppervasser, senior army officer, at the defence ministry
  • British ambassador Simon McDonald
  • Security briefing from an expert in the foreign ministry's strategy department

The guests will also visit the wall, the Knesset and Yad Vashem, as well as touring the Old City of Jerusalem and religious sites.

Mr Brake said,

"I hope this visit will give us a greater insight into the profound pain suffered by both sides of this conflict. Liberal Democrats will continue to push for the "two states" solution of a secure and sovereign Israel alongside a secure and safe Palestinian state."

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