Press release | Date: 21/09/2023 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On 20 September, Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt chaired the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHCL), the international donor group for Palestine, at the UN Headquarters in New York.
’Thirty years after the signing of the first Oslo Accord, the Palestinian state-building project has entered a critical phase. During the meeting of the international donor group for Palestine, we discussed how we can best continue to support Palestinian state-building efforts and thus make progress towards a two-state solution. I expressed a clear expectation that the Israeli and Palestinian authorities and the donors will all do their part to reverse the negative trend,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
At the meeting, the Foreign Minister stressed the need to strengthen the Palestinian institutions. Israel must remove restrictions and stop actions that undermine the Palestinian Authority. The parties must honour existing agreements. Minister Huitfeldt urged the donors to increase their support to the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority's reform programme. The Palestinian Authority and Israel must ensure that elections take place in Gaza and in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The situation in Palestine is extremely challenging. The security situation has deteriorated. The occupation continues. The Palestinian economy has limited prospects for growth.
‘A two-state solution remains the best way to achieve peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis alike, but the window of opportunity for realising this is closing. The Israelis and the Palestinians must take concrete steps to promote a peaceful solution. Economic support is crucial but it is not enough on its own. Political contact between Israel and Palestine must lead to new negotiations on a peace agreement,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.
The participants at the meeting in New York included Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and Finance Minister Shukri Bishara; Amir Weissbrod from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell; Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry; Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi; Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström; UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland; and representatives of other member countries of the AHLC, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The AHLC was established in 1993 following the Oslo I Accord, with a view to creating an institutional and economic basis for Palestinian self-determination and a Palestinian state within the framework of a negotiated two-state solution.