Norway supports Palestinian reconciliation
“Our primary concern now is the humanitarian situation in Gaza. There is a desperate need for food, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said after talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Oslo Feb. 24. The two discussed the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the prospects for peace in the region. The prime minister called for Palestinian reconciliation and for the international community to stay engaged.
“The borders must be opened immediately. Israel has an obligation to allow full and unhindered access forhumanitarian assistance, financial services and building materials,” Prime Minister Stoltenberg said.
He said the international community must support the reconstruction efforts of the Palestinian Authority, and stressed the importance of the upcoming meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh and of the donor countries’ Ad Hoc Liaison Committee.
“Palestinian reconciliation and a unity government are needed to get the peace process back on track,” Stoltenberg said. He said Norway fully supports Egypt’s efforts to bring the Palestinian factions together for peace.
”A Palestinian unity government must answer to the expectations of the international community in terms of denouncing terrorism, respecting previous agreements and recognizing Israel’s right to safety from terrorist attacks,” the Prime Minister said. He said Norway is ready to cooperate with a united Palestinian government for Gaza and the West Bank.
Stoltenberg said it is essential that the international community stays engaged in order to keep peace efforts on track. “We welcome signs that the Obama administration will increase US efforts to engage. US leadership is crucial if we are to find a peaceful solution,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.