|Ending talks in Paris, diplomatic Quartet's task force seeks support for Palestinian reform
23 August – Ending two days of talks in Paris, a special panel set up by the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East - the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia - stressed the need for continued commitment by the Palestinians to the reform process, Israeli facilitation and support from the international community.
In a statement released after the meetings, the International Task Force on Palestinian Reform - which also includes Norway, Japan, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund - stressed that international backing was critical to building the foundations of a viable, independent Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.
During the talks, which included separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials, the Task Force also discussed serious concerns about the deteriorating Palestinian humanitarian situation.
Created in early July, the Task Force has set up seven support groups to look at civil society, financial accountability, local government, market economy, elections, judicial and administrative reform. The support groups operate on-site and work side-by-side with Palestinian officials to implement the 100-day reform initiative submitted by the Palestinian Authority earlier this year.
The next formal meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for October.