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Deputy Prime Minister to visit US, Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Minister for Social Inclusion

Deputy Prime Minister

14 June, 2009

Media release

Deputy Prime Minister to visit US, Israel and the Palestinian Territories

The Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard will travel to the United States of America, Israel and the Palestinian Territories in the second half of June.

In the US, the Deputy Prime Minister will hold discussions with a number of senior members of the new administration to discuss responses to the global recession, jobs and economic recovery and reforming education and training for the future.

At this extraordinary time of global challenge, our long-standing alliance with the US is of paramount importance.

As Australia and the US continue to work closely together on defence and security issues, collaboration to ensure global economic recovery and sustainable growth in the future is just as vital.

As the recent Budget demonstrated, the Rudd Government is maintaining the momentum of its Education Revolution despite these difficult days.

Reforming education systems from early years to university and investing in educational excellence, equity and opportunity are integral to our long term future.

This is a vision for the future the Rudd Government shares with the Obama Administration.

In Washington, the Deputy Prime Minister plans to meet with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

In New York, the Deputy Prime Minister will meet again with Chancellor of New York City Schools, Joel Klein.

From 22 June, the Deputy Prime Minister will lead the nation’s delegation to the inaugural Australia Israel Leadership Forum.

Parliamentarians Peter Costello, Christopher Pyne, George Brandis, Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus will be part of the Australian delegation.

The Australian Israel Leadership Forum will highlight both the strength and potential of the Australian Israel relationship. It will consider issues of common interest including the global recession, security, climate change and our response to these challenges.

The Forum is part of a wide-ranging festival and celebration of culture between our countries, G’Day, Shalom Salaam.

It is anticipated that the Deputy Prime Minister will also meet with senior members of the Israeli Government including the President of Israel, Shimon Peres and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

The Deputy Prime Minister will reaffirm Australia’s ongoing support for Israel’s right to live in peace and security within defined borders and reiterate that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East must be based on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Deputy Prime Minister plans to visit Ramallah, on the West Bank and to meet leaders of the Palestinian Authority there.

The Australian Government supports reform and institution-building in the Palestinian Territories, which is in the interests of Israel and the Palestinians.

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