Palestine: EU High Representative Josep Borrell in the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee Ministerial meeting

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell participated by videoconference in a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Anniken Huitfeldt, on Wednesday. The meeting was held in a hybrid format with in-person ministerial-level participation in Oslo and several participants connecting remotely.

Addressing the forum, which gathers the main donors to the Palestinian Authority with focus on economic and fiscal issues, High Representative Josep Borrell welcomed that the Israeli and Palestinian delegations again participated at the ministerial level. He stressed the importance of continuing high-level contacts between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to unlock the potential of increased cooperation.

The High Representative noted that in order to surpass the difficult financial situation of the Palestinian Authority, improvement in access and movement within occupied Palestinian territory, and economic measures were needed to boost the Palestinian economy and enable Palestinian development.

He raised the EU’s concerns regarding continued settlement expansions, demolitions and evictions. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), demolitions and evictions in the West Bank gathered pace, with last year marking a four-year high in terms of the number of structures demolished since 2016, and the second highest number of demolitions since UNOCHA began systematically documenting this practice in 2009. In the first seven months of this year, the Office of the United Nations noted a further 40% increase in demolitions and a 87% increase in displacements, compared to the same period in 2020.

The High Representative also raised the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

He encouraged the parties to take steps that can pave the way for the relaunch of a credible and meaningful peace process that can achieve a two-State solution based on the internationally agreed parameters.
 

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