The work for a Palestinian state continues

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On 22 September, Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt chaired a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the international donor group for Palestine, at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The participants at the meeting included Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alon Ushpiz, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland, and representatives of other member countries of the AHLC. 

Utenriksministeren i New York
Credit: Pontus Höök

‘While much of our attention has been directed towards the war in Ukraine in recent months, it is important that we continue to maintain a focus on other conflicts across the world. The situation in Palestine, both in the West Bank and in Gaza, is very difficult, and the last few months have seen ongoing violence and unrest. Many lives have been lost. This is a clear reflection of the fact that there has not been a genuine peace process for eight years. At the meeting today, the AHLC members urged the Israelis and the Palestinians to take steps to restore a political horizon for peace. This is a matter of urgency, and it is essential to realising the two-state solution and improving the situation of the Palestinian people,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.

Some progress has been made in terms of practical cooperation between the Palestinian and Israeli authorities since the last AHLC meeting in Brussels in May. For example, measures have been introduced to strengthen trade with Gaza and between the West Bank and Jordan, and Israel has granted more work permits to Palestinians from Gaza and has initiated electronic wage payments for Palestinians working in Israel. The Palestinian Authority is working to implement internal reforms in various sectors. However, there has been no progress in a number of areas, and the political and economic situation remains very challenging.

‘The prospects of a two-state solution diminish with every year that passes without a political process between the parties. Even though the international community is maintaining its engagement and is supporting efforts that can lead to a resumption of the negotiations and progress towards a two-state solution, it is ultimately up to the parties themselves to get the process going again,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.

The AHLC was established in 1993 following the Oslo I Accord, with a view to creating an institutional and economic basis for a Palestinian state within the framework of a negotiated two-state solution.