Brussels, 12 April 2011
The annual spring meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestine Territories, the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), will be held in Brussels on 13 April 2011. The meeting will be hosted by Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, and presided over by Norwegian Foreign Minister Støre in his capacity as chair of the AHLC. Prime Minister Fayyad will attend the meeting, so will the Quartet Envoy Tony Blair. This Brussels meeting is the first in a series of donor meetings planned for 2011.
"The state-building effort has gained renewed momentum since 2009 when Prime Minister Fayyad set forth the vision and the path for Palestinian statehood based on a plan that the EU has supported both politically and financially. But these achievements can be sustainable only if they are matched with progress in the peace talks," said Catherine Ashton ahead of the meeting. "The EU will continue to make every effort to achieve progress on comprehensive peace in the Middle East because this is more important than ever in the current context of unrest in the wider Middle East region."
The AHLC was set up to underpin the political efforts to achieve a two-state solution by supporting institution-building for a Palestine State. Since the last meeting in New York in September 2010 further progress has been made on the implementation of the Palestine Authority’s two-year state-building plan.
At the Brussels meeting progress and achievements against this plan will be assessed, based on evaluation reports from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. The focus of the discussions is expected to be on the macro-economic situation, as well as the continued need for budget support to the PA. The meeting will also be used to introduce the Fayyad Government’s development plans for 2011-13 and prepare for an upcoming donor Conference in June 2011.
On the margins of the AHLC meeting HRVP Ashton and PM Fayyad will sign the Duty Free Quota Free Agreement. The agreement will give immediate access and full liberalisation, for a transitional period of 10 years to the EU market, with possible further extension in time, to all agricultural products, processed agricultural products and fish and fishery products originating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.