In the context of the Alternatives' Tour Towards Global Peace - The Minister of Information in the new Palestinian unity government, Dr. Mustapha Barghouti, is coming to Canada



    MONTREAL, March 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Alternatives is proud to welcome
recently elected Minister of Information in the new Palestinian unity
government, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti to Montreal and Ottawa. Dr. Barghouti is an
emblematic figure to the Palestinian democratic movement and his visit arrives
at a key moment in Palestine's history, when hopes are high for peace in the
Middle East.
    The Palestinian unity government is no longer entirely dominated by the
Hamas; it was put into place as an attempt to overcome a series of political
impasses. In the short term, it seeks to reduce tensions, especially between
activists of the two main branches of the Palestinian movement in the Gaza
strip region, the Fatah and the Hamas. In the longer term, it could reopen
dialogue with the Israeli authorities and reestablish international funding to
the Palestinian Authority. Canada and several western countries have
effectively suspended their foreign aid to the Palestinian territories
following the election of the Hamas-directed government last spring.
    A doctor by profession, Mustafa Barghouti, has been a founding member of
medical organizations such as the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief
Committees and the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute. In
parallel to his activities in the medical field, Mr. Barghouti has always
supported those who have espoused non-violent resistance to Israeli occupation
and non-violent support for the creation of a democratic Palestinian state. He
also founded the Palestinian National Initiative with Edward Said and others,
which seeks to create a third front between the Hamas and Fatah. Candidate for
the post of President in the last Palestinian elections and finishing second
behind Palestine's current President Mahmoud Abbas, Barghouti was elected to
the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006.
    Mr. Barghouti's visit will take place in the context of a conference tour
with the theme 'Towards Global Peace' organized by Alternatives and taking
place in Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa, from the 27th to the 29th of March. Mr.
Barghouti will be accompanied by a range of other first-class conference
speakers from Iraq, Palestine and Pakistan, Israel and the United States,
including Michel Warschawski, founder of the Centre for Alternative
Information, an Israeli-Palestinian agency in Jerusalem.

    Press Conferences:
    Montreal: Tuesday March 27 at 10 :00 am at the Centre St-Pierre, 1212
    Panet St.
    Ottawa: Wednesday March 28 at 10:15 am at the Room 130-S, Centre Building
    (*) Guests are available for interviews




For further information:

For further information: Catherine Binette, (514) 813-2252,
catalina@alternatives.ca; Complete program available at : www.alternatives.ca

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