Donors may halt aid to Palestinian Authority if no progress is made in peace talks 30Aug13 August 30, 2013

MEMO-Middle East Monitor    -     29 August 2013


Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Eide: ‘The donors will not be ready to keep funding Palestinian state-building much longer if we do not see a political solution on the horizon.’

Donors will not continue to subsidise the Palestinian Authority forever and if Palestinian-Israeli talks do not make any progress, donations could be stopped according to the Norwegian foreign minister, Espen Barth Eide, in the Jerusalem Post.

“The donors will not be ready to keep funding Palestinian state-building much longer if we do not see a political solution on the horizon,” said Eide.

“I think this is important for the Palestinians to know…the comfort of an internationally subsidised state-building endeavour may be wrong,” Eide told the newspaper. “And I think that it is important for some people on the Israeli side…to know that this cannot continue forever.”

An international group of donors are due to meet next month in New York on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly meeting.

Eide said that he is “optimistic” about the peace process. “There are two basic reasons for my relative optimism this time compared to previous rounds,” he said. Palestinian and Israeli sides understood that “this might be the last opportunity for a two-state solution according to the Oslo paradigm.”

“I think we are at the point where we will either move ahead or backward to a very different situation.”

The second reason for his optimism, he said, was due to “dramatic events everywhere in the region, from Egypt to Syria, Lebanon and the apocalyptic terror we are seeing all around.”

The Norwegian minister said he knew that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have a shared position on their attitudes towards Iran, Syria, Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

He said that the ousting of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi had clearly weakened Hamas to the advantage of the Palestinian Authority.

“A year ago we feared that the centre of gravity was slowly moving from the West Bank to Gaza. Now it is clearly back in the West Bank, where it should be,” he said, adding that this was another reason to move purposefully with the negotiations.

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