POSTED: October 6th 2010

Rogge sets up Lausanne 'summit' for Palestinian and Israeli Olympic leaders

IOC president Jacques Rogge at the John Paul II Foundation in Bethlehem / lake images
IOC president Jacques Rogge at the John Paul II Foundation in Bethlehem / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE in Bethlehem / Sports Features Communications

BETHLEHEM, Oct 06: Jacques Rogge is to invite the Olympic leaders of both Israel and Palestine to IOC headquarters in Lausanne to try to resolve the issues over freedom of movement of athletes.

Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, was speaking at a symposium in the John Paul II Foundation in Bethlehem after visiting Manger Square and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He was then travelling on to Israel to conclude a three-country trip to the Middle East which began in Jordan at the start of the week.

One of the main issues which assailed him in Palestine was anger over travel permit problems encountered by sportsmen and women from the West Bank and Gaza.

On Tuesday in Ramallah Rogge had said he would raise the issue with the Israeli sports leaders and government authorities.

More detail

In Bethlehem he went into further detail, volunteering: “I will invite the national Olympic committees of Palestine and Israel to sit around the table with me in Lausanne and the IOC will look at ways to try to find a solution.”

Asked later about the message he would take from Palestine to Israel, Rogge added: “The message to Israel will be: ‘Please make the life of the Palestinian athletes easier and allow then to travel more easily and allow the importation of sports goods and equipment which has been donated by international federations and the IOC.

“That is the main message I will convey. On the specific issues I will – as I said – invite both National Olympic Committees to discuss and work out the details but the message is: ‘Please make it more easy.’”

Keywords · Rogge · IOC · Palestine · Israel · International Olympic Committee

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