The Dutch government’s adviser in the Gaza Strip, Omar Shaban, has revealed that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will head a high-level delegation to the Palestinian territories next week. During the visit, Rutte will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas and inaugurate a new security check system, funded by his government, at the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Crossing, the only commercial crossing into the Gaza Strip that Israel allows limited access to.
Shaban explained that the visit aims to affirm the strength of Dutch-Palestinian relations, and to promote economic cooperation between Palestine and the Netherlands. He also pointed out that this visit will have a positive impact on many sectors of the Palestinian economy.
He said that Rutte will inaugurate the new security check system at Karem Abu Salem. The new system is expected to speed up the transportation procedures through the crossing, which in turn will allow importing and exporting larger quantities of goods through the crossing.
He pointed out that the prime minister will also meet with a number of businesspeople and representatives of the private sector in the city of Bethlehem to discuss the prospects of mutual economic cooperation, especially in the sectors of food and agriculture, noting that he will sign a number of joint agreements on economic cooperation, after research has been conducted to identify the most important requirements for both parties’ success.
He pointed out that the Dutch premier will also meet Israeli officials to ask them to provide further facilities at the crossings, particularly in respect to the imports and exports of food and agricultural products.