Palestinian president to meet with Zuma

WEB_PHOTO_Mahmoud_Abbas_122313

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a Christmas message from the West Bank, called Jesus a role model for the Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a Christmas message from the West Bank, called Jesus a role model for the Palestinians.

WEB_PHOTO_Mahmoud_Abbas_122313

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a Christmas message from the West Bank, called Jesus a role model for the Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a Christmas message from the West Bank, called Jesus a role model for the Palestinians.

JOHANNESBURG - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to arrive in South Africa on Wednesday.

It will be his first visit since the bloody war between Israel and Hamas that left thousands dead in Gaza earlier this year.

The fighting lasted almost two months and prompted the South African government to send a special envoy to meet with both sides in a bid to secure peace.

Abbas will arrive in Pretoria and hold talks with President Jacob Zuma later in the day.

Palestinian ambassador to South Africa, Abdel Hafiz Nofal, believes the country could play a role in encouraging peace in the Middle East.

“The experience from South Africa, it’s a very supportive position with the government, the parliament the society and all the stuff fthat they share with the Palestinian people, they have experienced… we share a lot of things, the hopes and values together and so we hope they will discuss which role can South Africa play in the difficult situation in the area," he said.