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Palestine

Published on July 16, 2010
Statement on behalf of the Chair and Co-Chairs of the International Donors’ Conference for the Palestinian State – Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs¹

Paris, July 2, 2010

1. The Chair and Co-Chairs of the Paris Conference (Foreign Minister Kouchner, Foreign Minister Støre, High Representative Ashton and Quartet Representative Blair) met on 1 July 2010, together with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Aboul Gheit, to take stock of donors’ disbursements and the implementation of the Palestinian reform and development plan which is in its final year.

2. The Chair and Co-Chairs welcomed the progress achieved in the conduct of reforms by the Palestinian Authority (PA), especially the strengthening of Palestinian Authority institutions within the framework of the 13th Palestinian government programme. Significant advances were observed, in particular as regards the management and transparency of public finance, governance and security issues. The Chair and Co-Chairs call for the continued pursuit of strict control of public expenditure by the PA.

3. The Chair and Co-Chairs observe that the PA continues to have financing needs outstanding for 2010. They call on donors to continue to provide budgetary assistance to the Palestinian Authority in a way that shares the burden equitably among the donors.

Acknowledging that some donors have frontloaded their assistance for 2010, the Chair and Co-Chairs direct their call to the wider international community and in particular to the Arab nations. At this decisive time in the peace process, they urge for rapidly disbursed budgetary assistance with a view to completing the building of the institutions of the future Palestinian State and to sustain the improvement being achieved in the economy.

4. The Chair and Co-Chairs welcome the announcements made by the Government of Israel to ease obstacles to access and movement in the West Bank. They call on Israel to take more ambitious, structural measures to continue to ease access and movement, which are needed to release the full potential impact of the policies led by the Palestinian Authority and the financial support provided by the international community.

5. The situation in Gaza remains unsustainable. The Chair and Co-Chairs welcome the announcement of the Government of Israel on measures with a view to alleviating the blockade on Gaza, mindful of the fact that assistance to Gaza was included from the outset in the framework of the Paris Conference. The Chair and Co-Chairs urge full, rapid, and effective implementation of this new policy, including moving to a transparent negative list for the import of goods and an increase in the transit capacity of the crossings, so as to meet the needs of Gaza’s population, in close coordination with the Palestinian Authority. The reconstruction should concern not only infrastructures, but also private housing. Exports must be also authorized to allow the legitimate business sector to restart. The population of Gaza must be able to enter and go out. It is also essential to facilitate a normalization of the banking relations between Gaza, the West Bank and Israel. The Chair and Co-Chairs welcome the Quartet Representative’s efforts, especially regarding the recent changes in Gaza and welcome the resumption of meetings of the Joint Liaison Committee.

6. The Chair and Co-Chairs call on all Palestinians to promote reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas. They support the mediation efforts by Egypt and the Arab League and call for the prevention of a permanent division between the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. The Chair and the Co-Chairs emphasize the importance of preserving the security of Israel and of preventing the smuggling of weapons to Gaza. They call for the immediate, unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

7. The Chair and Co-Chairs look forward to the new Palestinian development plan in the autumn, which will focus on the Palestinian Authority’s priorities, including in the areas of justice and the rule of law, pensions, and educational and social development in close coordination with the international community, Palestinian civil society and the private sector.

8. The Chair and Co-chairs call for full support to the steps undertaken by the Quartet and by the USA to assist the parties in negotiations in pursuit of a viable, contiguous, independent and democratic Palestinian State, living side by side with Israel in peace and security, within secure and recognized borders, established on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative. The Chair and Co-chairs favour a prolongation of the moratorium on the expansion of settlements in the West Bank. A new donors’ conference for the Palestinian State could be organized in Paris in due course on this basis and in the framework of clear political prospects for ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian State.

9. Norway informed the participants that a next Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting is planned to take place in the margins of the UN General Assembly in September this year./.

¹ Official English text

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