Meeting of the international donor group for Palestine (AHLC): increased cooperation on economic issues

‘There has been increased cooperation between Israel and Palestine in recent months to find solutions to key issues relating to the economy, infrastructure and trade. However, there are still no political negotiations between the parties. Violence must end and the parties must take steps to resume negotiations of a two-state solution,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

This afternoon, Ms Huitfeldt chaired a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the international donor group for Palestine, in Brussels. EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell hosted the meeting. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Esawi Frej took part, together with representatives from the US, the EU, the UN, the World Bank, the IMF as well as Arab and other donor countries.

Mennesker i et møterom
Credit: Guri Solberg / UD

At the meeting in Brussels, the AHLC urged the parties to return to the negotiating table. Without a political process there will be no end to the Israeli occupation.

‘The two-state solution is the only sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The occupation must end. Israel must cease settlement building and evictions. The Palestinian Authority must implement vital reforms and strengthen its legitimacy. And the Palestinians need to unite under a single political leadership,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

To ministere på talerstol
Credit: Juliane Bragstad Lamvik / EU-delegasjonen

The Palestinian Authority is faced with a huge budget deficit. The Palestinian people have been hit by the steep rise in prices for food and fuel resulting from Russia’s war on Ukraine. International contributions to the Palestinian Authority have decreased significantly over the past few years.

Since the meeting in Oslo in November last year, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK have headed individual working groups. The three countries are working together with Israel and Palestine to promote progress in areas such as water, trade and the Palestinian economy. This has created a new dynamic in the AHLC. The Israelis and Palestinians are discussing relevant issues more constructively than has been the case for years.

The main aim of the AHLC is to develop an institutional and economic basis for a Palestinian state based on a negotiated two-state solution.