Press release | Date: 16/11/2021 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt will chair a ministerial meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the international donor group for Palestine, on 17 November. The meeting will take place at Oslo City Hall. Representatives from Palestine, Israel, the US, the EU, Russia, the UN and other key countries will take part. The participants will include Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Esawi Frej. This is the first time an AHLC meeting has been held in person for two years, and it is the first AHLC meeting in Oslo since 2009.
‘Efforts to build the foundation for a two-state solution are continuing, even though the peace negotiations have not been resumed. The ongoing contact between the parties has created a new, more positive dynamic. The parties are seeking to revitalise their cooperation, particularly cooperation relating to the economy and trade. This is crucial in order to strengthen the Palestinian economy, meet basic needs, especially in Gaza, and reduce the risk of further escalations of violence,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.
The Palestinian Authority has had significant budgetary problems for many years. The economy in Palestine has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Poverty and unemployment are on the rise. The escalation of violence between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza in May brought further suffering to the civilian population.
‘Six months have passed since the last escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The situation in the West Bank is increasingly tense. I am concerned that the conflict could quickly flare up again, and I urge all parties to show restraint,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.
The AHLC was established in 1993 following the Oslo I Accord. Its main aim is to develop an institutional and economic basis for a future Palestinian state based on a negotiated two-state solution. Some 30 countries and organisations participate in AHLC meetings.
‘I hope that at this AHLC meeting we will be able to agree on concrete measures to strengthen Palestinian institutions and the Palestinian economy and improve living conditions for people in the West Bank and Gaza,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.
Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt will brief the press after the meeting (at about 18:15).