oPt

Remarks by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton after the donor coordination group for the Palestine Territories

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Brussels, 13 April 2011 A 150/11

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made today the following remarks after the donor coordination group for the Palestine Territories, the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC):

"It has been a great privilege to host today's meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee.

I'd like to pay tribute to Jonas Støre, who has done an excellent job in driving this process and as Chair of today's discussions.

It's been a very fruitful session, and I'd like to thank everyone for their positive contributions.

While this meeting is a donor coordination meeting for the Occupied Palestinian Territory it is taking place at a very important moment for the region.

I believe that in this context it is more important then ever to continue to work towards a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to build a democratic Palestinian state to exist side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.

The state-building process is crucial in this regard.

It has gained renewed momentum since 2009 when Prime Minister Fayyad set out a path for Palestinian statehood in a plan that the EU has supported both politically and financially.

The Palestinian Authority has made significant progress on this state-building agenda. Today Palestinian institutions compare favourably with those in established states.

We also welcome the new Palestinian national development plan and I pay tribute to the work of Prime Minister Fayyad.

I'm proud to say that the EU has been instrumental in the institution building process. For 2011, we have already earmarked €300 million for it.

Yet it's clear that these achievements can only be sustainable in the event of a political breakthrough. The international community should not let these concerted efforts go to waste. This opportunity should not be missed.

We reaffirm our readiness to contribute to a negotiated solution within the timeline set by the Quartet."