News story | Date: 2015-05-27 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘Today’s meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestinian people took place at a time of uncertainty concerning resumption of the negotiations. It was therefore significant that both parties reaffirmed their commitment to our common goal of an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security. This remains the cornerstone of the tripartite cooperation between Israel, Palestine and the donors,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
In his introduction to today’s meeting in Brussels of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) for assistance to the Palestinians, Mr Brende stated that there is no alternative to a two-state solution, and received broad support from the other donor countries for this view.
‘In my talks with the parties last week, I made clear that the pressure from the rest of the international community to resume negotiations will increase. Today’s meeting in the donor coordination group was a first step on the difficult path to rebuilding trust and reestablishing a meaningful political process. As we progress along this path, our top priority must be to safeguard and maintain the Palestinian institutions that have been built up over a period of many years,’ said Mr Brende.
Mr Brende also highlighted the difficult situation in Gaza. The Cairo Conference last autumn set two conditions for the massive rebuilding of Gaza following the war last summer.
‘The donors have made substantial sums of money available. In order for these funds to be used effectively, Israel must do far more to allow access for essential construction materials, and all Palestinian parties must facilitate the political reunification of Gaza and the West Bank, so that the Palestinian authorities can lead the reconstruction efforts,’ said Mr Brende.
The meeting in Brussels was led by Norway, as chair of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), and hosted by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.