IOC: Israelis, Palestinians to meet in West Bank
Israeli Olympic officials will travel to the West Bank for the
next round of talks with their Palestinian counterparts on
Pere Miro, the IOC’s director of national Olympic committee
relations, said Friday that an Israeli delegation has agreed to
meet in Ramallah, calling it an ”extraordinary precedent.”
It is highly unusual for Israeli officials to go to
Israeli and Palestinian Olympic officials have met twice this
year in Lausanne, Switzerland, in talks brokered by the
International Olympic Committee.
Palestinian Olympic officials are seeking free movement for
athletes, coaches and sports equipment in and out of the West
In the previous round of talks in May, both parties agreed on
the principle of lifting travel restrictions ”taking into account
the security issues in the region.”
Israel and the Palestinians also want entry to the 2013
Mediterranean Games in Turkey.
The IOC has promised increased funding from its Olympic
Solidarity program to help more Palestinian athletes prepare for
the London Games, with additional help from Israeli coaches and
Meanwhile, the IOC on Friday withdrew its recognition of the
national Olympic committee of the Netherlands Antilles, a territory
of five islands in the Caribbean that was dissolved as a political
entity in 2010.
However, the IOC agreed to allow athletes from the region to
compete under the Olympic flag in London. Four athletes from the
Netherlands Antilles competed at the 2008 Beijing Games, including
sprinter Churandy Martina.
Martina crossed the line in second place behind Usain Bolt in
the 200 meters, but was disqualified for a lane violation.
Miro said athletes from the Netherlands Antilles could also
choose to compete for either the Netherlands or Aruba.
Miro also said the IOC was on track to lift the suspension it
imposed on Ghana’s Olympic committee in January because of
Ghana sent about a dozen athletes to the Beijing Games, and its
youth football teams are among the best in the world. Ghana is the
reigning under-20 world champion.
Miro said Kuwait’s Olympic committee will remain suspended
because of government interference. The suspension has been in
effect since 2010.
He said the IOC is still monitoring issues of government
interference in India, Gambia, Panama, Nepal, Afghanistan and
Venezuela, although no sanctions have been taken.