IOC president invites Israel, Palestine for talks

Rogge memorializes victims of Munich massacre, says Netanyahu has agreed to ease travel restrictions on Palestinian athletes.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 7, 2010 14:17
1 minute read.
IOC president Jacques Rogge

jacques rogge 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, visited Israel on Thursday, memorializing the athletes killed in the Munich Olympics, and discussing travel restrictions on Palestinian athletes.

"The IOC will always remember our comrades that passed away in Munich," Rogge said, adding that he was at the Olympic games in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by the terrorist group Black September.

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At a press conference in Tel Aviv, Rogge also expressed concern over travel obstacles facing Palestinian athletes, saying they should be granted free movement regardless of politics.

"We foster dialogue between athletes," Rogge said. "[The IOC] is not a political committee."

Rogge also invited the sides to IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss travel restrictions. He added that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has promised to look into ways of easing travel restrictions on Palestinian athletes.

Palestinian officials say Israel routinely hinders the movement of Palestinian athletes, particularly those from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel denies the accusations.

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