Norway normalises relations with Palestinian Unity Government

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre

“Norway welcomes the formation of the Palestinian Unity Government,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store. “In its programme, the Unity Government is taking important steps towards complying with the international community’s demands. Norway will thus on this basis re-establish political and economic relations with the Palestinian Government,” said Mr Store.

“On the basis of the new government’s political platform, Norway expects the Palestinian authorities to respect basic international standards as regards compliance with previously concluded agreements, renunciation of violence and recognition of Israel’s right to exist. It is now important that the new government in practice continues reconciliation efforts among the Palestinians and implements political and economic reforms,” said the Foreign Minister.

Norway has consistently supported President Mahmoud Abbas’s efforts to find democratic national solutions that will unify the Palestinian people.

“I congratulate President Abbas on what has now been achieved. We will continue to support the President actively in his efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state free of occupation. I support US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in her efforts to initiate negotiations between President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert,” the Foreign Minister continued.

“The formation of a Palestinian Unity Government is a historic event. The alternative to this government would be continued violence and unrest in the Palestinian territory. It is essential that the Unity Government gains control of the security situation in Gaza and the West Bank, and that the rocket attacks on Israeli areas cease. Norway calls on the Unity Government to make an active effort to secure Corporal Shalit’s release. This is necessary in order to continue President Abbas’ dialogue policy vis-a-vis Israel,” said the Foreign Minister.

“Norway will deal with members of the new Palestinian Government as representatives of a broad and representative Unity Government. Norway upholds its demands on Hamas as an organisation,” said Mr Store.

“Norway calls on the international community to work constructively with the Palestinian Authorities. We particularly call on Israel to take a constructive approach to the Unity Government, for example by releasing withheld Palestinian revenues from taxes and fees and by increasing the freedom of movement for the Palestinian population,” said Foreign Minister Store.

Related Links

  • Program of Palestinian Unity Government (17 March 2007)
  • Norway MFA