Hollande meets Abbas in Ramallah

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Hollande meets Abbas in Ramallah

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French President François Holland continued his tour of the Middle East on Monday morning by spending it with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

It is his first visit as head of state to the West Bank, and comes following a call from Abbas for an international enquiry into the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat along similar lines to the investigation into the murder of Lebanon’s Rafik al-Hariri.

During his visit Hollande laid a wreath on Arafat’s tomb. Arafat died in 2004 in a French military hospital near Paris.

On Monday afternoon Hollande is to address the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. He has already visited the Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem, and given Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu strong support for his hard line against Iran in the ongoing nuclear talks.

He is expected to repeat this support in front of the Knesset, but to add a strong call for renewed peace efforts with the Palestinians.