Brown won’t visit Sderot

Prime Minister Gordon Brown will visit Israel next week — but despite requests by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, he is not scheduled to visit Sderot.

Mr Brown’s visit to Jerusalem on Sunday and Monday will not last much longer than 24 hours. He is due to meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the foreign and defence ministers, and the head of the opposition. He will also sign two treaties, including an initiative of academic exchange reported by the JC last week.

However, the Foreign Ministry is not publishing an official itinerary for the visit, partly for security reasons but also due to the fact that it has tried unsuccessfully to persuade the British party to include a tour of Sderot together with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Despite this, the Foreign Ministry sees Mr Brown’s visit as evidence of the support of “the Atlanticist wing of Europe” for Israel. The UK Foreign Office would not confirm the visit.

    Last updated: 2:23pm, July 22 2008