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Interior minister in Middle East

Ruth Dreifuss will receive an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University. Keystone

The Swiss interior minister, Ruth Dreifuss, is travelling to Israel for a four-day visit during which she will meet Israeli and Palestinian officials and be honoured by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The first day of the visit on Thursday will be devoted to official meetings in Israel. Dreifuss will hold talks with the education and justice ministers, and the director-general of the health and social security schemes.

On Saturday, Dreifuss will be in the Palestinian territories, where she has arranged meetings with the minister for planning and international co-operation and the deputy education minister. She will also hold talks with members of the Palestinian National Council.

But the official talks are only part of the visit. On Friday, Dreifuss, who is herself Jewish, will attend an international conference at the Hebrew University. She is due to address the meeting on the subject of Jewish culture and identity in the 21st century.

Her visit will bring her back to the University on Sunday, where she will be awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her work on behalf of women, for social justice, and against racism and anti-semitism.

The interior minister will also be meeting the Israeli president, Ezer Weizmann, and will inaugurate a Swiss centre for conflict research and resolution in Jerusalem.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR