Against a background of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip at southern Israeli communities this morning, which caused no injuries, US President Barack Obama landed in Ramallah for a historic visit to the Palestinian Authority. Thousands of Palestinian security personnel were deployed on the routes leading to the Muqata presidential compound in Ramallah, even though Obama arrived by helicopter.
Obama was greeted at the welcoming ceremony by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and the Authority leadership. Abbas and Obama then held private talks.
To the Palestinians' disappointment, Obama will not visit the grave of Yasser Arafat, and will focus during his short visit on an attempt to reach agreement on a timetable for resuming peace negotiations with Israel.
After a joint press conference, Obama will proceed to an event in the center of Ramallah where he will meet with Palestinian youth. He then returns to Jerusalem for what is menat to be the highlight of his visit, a speech to an invited audience of Israeli students at Binyamei Ha'uma, following which he will met the staff of the US Consulate.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 21, 2013
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