British Premier Brown in Israel for talks with Olmert, Abbas

Israel Materials 20 July 2008 14:28 (UTC +04:00)

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown began his visit to Israel on Sunday with a tour of Jerusalem's Yad Vashem memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust followed by an official welcome by President Shimon Peres, the dpa reported.

"Nothing prepares you for what we see here," Brown said at the site, where he laid a wreath. "This is the story of the atrocities that should have been prevented, the killings that should never have happened, the truth that everybody who loves humanity should know," he added.

On the trip to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel, Brown was scheduled to hold talks Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Acting Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

He is also to meet members of the business community in Israel. Brown followed his surprise stop Saturday in Iraq by flying on to Tel Aviv in the evening.

The visit to Israel is Brown's first since becoming prime minister a year ago.

His talks with Israeli officials are to include the Iranian nuclear programme and Israel's ongoing peace efforts with the Palestinians and Syria, according to Israeli media reports. In Iraq on Saturday, Brown had met with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Brown is to address the Knesset - as the first British prime minister to do so - before his departure on Monday afternoon.