International donor meeting in London for the Palestinian Area

Press release No.: 30/03

The most important donors to the Palestinian Area will meet in London on 18 February to discuss how the international community can best support the Palestinian population in view of their difficult humanitarian situation.

The purpose of the meeting is to get an overview of the assistance needed in the Palestinian Area and donors' plans, as well as to agree on common priorities .

The meeting is being organised by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which was established as a follow-up to the Declaration of Principles between Israel and the PLO in 1993. Norway chairs the AHLC, while the EU Presidency, Greece, will co-chair the meeting . Other participants are the USA, the EU, Japan, Canada, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, the IBRD, the IMF and the UN Special Co-ordinator. The UK will participate as a guest of the Chair and has provided the venue and other resources for the meeting.

Information for the press

The meeting will be held at Lancaster House, London SW1, where press events will also take place.

1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen will open the meeting on Tuesday 18 February at 1100 hrs, followed by statements from all delegations. During this time (1100-1200) the meeting will be open to the press. Due to limited space a pool system may be necessary.

2. A briefing will be given after the meeting on Wednesday 19 February at approximately 1300 hrs.

Applications for accreditation to both events may be sent by e-mail to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London ( presse.london@mfa.no) before Monday 17 February at 1400 hrs. Participants will be informed by e-mail if a pool system is to be set up.

Press contacts:

Practical matters: Royal Norwegian Embassy in London, att. Mr. Nils M. Gunneng, direct tel. +44 (0) 2075915523, cellular tel. +44 (0) 7740770963.

Information about the AHLC meeting: Royal Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Middle East section, att. Mr. Allon Groth, cellular tel. +47 91544279.

Draft agenda: Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, Lancaster House, London, Tuesday 18th/ Wednesday 19th February 2003.

Tuesday 18 February

1100 Opening session
1205 Socio-economic and humanitarian situation
1600 Financial update and institutional reform
1730 Challenges to the assistance community
1830 End of session

Wednesday 19 February

0900 Strategies for 2003
1130 Closing statement
1200 Meeting ends