Norway says it will be first EU nation to recognise Palestine 14Jan11 January 14, 2011

Gulf News -  14 January 2011

Ramallah: Norway announced on Wednesday that it will be the first EU country to recognise a Palestinian state once the Palestinian institutions are set in place.

Jonas Gahr Stoere, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway said at a joined press conference with the Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad in Ramallah that his country will be a leading country in recognising the Palestinian state once the Palestinian institutions are set up as per the schedules and plans announced by the Palestinian National Authority.

“I have already informed the Palestinian officials that Norway will a leading country in recognising the Palestinian state once the new state’s institutions and infrastructure are created and set up as per the programmes announced by the Palestinian Authority,” he said.

by”This hopefully is to be matched with a successful peace process. We should all recognise the new facts on the ground,” he said.

“During the coming September and October, there will be a new situation and ground reality regarding the Palestinian state and that new situation should be handled and dealt with,” he said. “We hope the Palestinian state will be a part of the international community by that time,” he added.

Stoere said that the outstanding accomplishments of the Palestinian Authority should motivate the international community and donors’ countries providing the financial support to the Palestinian Authority to show more and better political support to the Palestinians to enable them create their own independent state. “Norway as the head state of the donors’ committee will exert more efforts with all the parties concerned, mainly the US and the EU to increase their financial and political support to the Palestinians,” he said.

Political support

“The donors’ committee will hold its coming meeting next April where additional financial and political support will be provided to the Palestinian Authority,” he said.

Dr Fayyad said that the issue of the Israeli occupation can not be left in the hands of the Israelis. “In such a way, the occupation will never come to an end,” he said. “The international community should take the legal and moral responsibilities of ending the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian Territories,” he said.

“The international community should press Israel to halt its colony activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” he said, stressing that the Israeli colony activities constitute a major obstacle in the way of resuming a credible peace process in the region.

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