Meeting of the international donor group for Palestine (AHLC):

Dialogue in a difficult conflict

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‘It is positive that the Israelis and Palestinians have had constructive discussions with the donor countries in Brussels this week, at the meeting chaired by Norway. The situation in Palestine is very difficult. It is therefore essential that we help to maintain the dialogue between the parties, along the lines of the recent talks in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

Norway organised a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the international donor group for Palestine, on 3–4 May in Brussels, with the EU as host. The meeting was opened by EU HRVP Josep Borrell Fontelles and chaired by Norway’s Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Hilde Haraldstad.

Group photo
Meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the international donor group for Palestine, in Brussels today. Credit: Mission of Norway to the EU

'The discussions over the last two days have highlighted how serious the situation is on the ground. We focused on how Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the international community can contribute to improve the dire situation. The Palestinian economy is not sustainable due to the various challenges that the Palestinians are facing, including the Israeli occupation. The need for continued Palestinian Authority (PA) reform was also on the agenda. There were some positive results and signals on issues we intend to focus on in the period leading up to the next meeting in New York in September', said Special Representative Hilde Haraldstad.

The AHLC consists of 30 countries and organizations and was established with a view to creating an institutional and economic basis for a Palestinian state within the framework of a negotiated two-state solution. The Palestinian delegation was led by Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara. Israel, the US, and European, Arab and other countries, as well as the IMF and the World Bank, were represented at senior official level. The UN was represented by UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland.

'At the meeting in Brussels, the international community strongly urged the Israelis and Palestinians take steps at the political level to address the core issues driving the conflict. This is essential to enable the parties to resume negotiations on a two-state solution and to achieve peace', said Foreign Minister Huitfeldt.