On 31st of May and 1st of June 2016, Switzerland convened an informal, non-public international seminar with the participation of senior officials from Palestine and significant regional and international actors. This is the first time an exchange on these specific questions was organized in a broader international setting.
Participants stressed that real progress towards Palestinian unity is urgent in light of the suffering of the Palestinian population, notably in Gaza, the necessity to ensure adequate service delivery to Palestinians, boost the economy and avert the risk of a new military escalation.
Past and current efforts and dialogue between Fatah and Hamas pertaining to the implementation of signed agreements were reviewed and the key role of Egypt as the main mediator between the Palestinian factions was highlighted. Participants also expressed their appreciation for the valuable efforts undertaken by Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar.
Participants took stock of ongoing efforts aiming to encourage the Palestinians to resolve their differences with a view to restoring Palestinian unity and allowing for the entire Palestinian territory to be brought back under one democratic, effective and legitimate authority.
Participating countries and organizations reaffirmed their readiness to support a genuine Palestinian reconciliation effort based on non-violence, democracy and the PLO principles, with a view to holding long overdue elections. They also reiterated their support for the efforts of the Swiss government and the “Roadmap Proposal on Civil Employees’ Integration from September, 29, 2014”.
This seminar was also meant as a contribution to France’s initiative which, in conjunction with the Quartet’s efforts, is to reaffirm the centrality of the two-State solution and lay the groundwork for a peaceful coexistence between Israel and a viable, contiguous and independent Palestinian State based on the borders of 1967.
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