Kuwait has assured an international donors meeting here that it stands firm in its commitments to support and assist the international community in creating an independent and viable Palestinian state.
Jassem Al-Mubaraki, director of international organisation department in the foreign ministry, represented Kuwait at the annual spring meeting of the donor coordination group for the Palestine Territories, the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), in Brussels Wednesday evening.
“I made it clear we stand firm and we will remain associating ourselves with efforts by the international community to make Palestine a viable, independent state,” Al-Mubaraki told the Kuwait news agency, KUNA, in an interview.
“We are talking only on one track which is the financial track, but we in Kuwait believe that there are two tracks if we really intend to make the Palestinian independent state a reality and the other track is the political one, the peace process,” he said.
“The political track is integrating the financial track. We cant talk about the financial track while neglecting the other track,” he argued.
“There is no advance whatsoever because of the Israeli practices by conducting settlement policies,” stressed the Kuwaiti official.
Al-Mubaraki said that Kuwait stands firm to its commitment according to the Arab summit resolutions since the Beirut summit in 2002 and until last summit in Libya in 2010 regarding the assistance to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
The other commitment of Kuwait was in the Paris donors conference for Palestinians held in 2007.
“We did release up to this moment USD 196 million in accordance with the Arab summit resolution,” he pointed out.
“In addition we released to the PNA, USD 171 million. This is Kuwaits share of the al-Aqsa fund and now we are in the process of releasing USD 39 million which we agreed in the last Arab summit in Libya,” said Al-Mubaraki.
In the Paris conference, Kuwait agreed to donate USD 300 million and from this amount it has given USD 130 million till now which was allocated to the World Bank mechanism.
“I just came to convey this message that we will continue association with the international community towards helping the PNA,” he said.
“We are with them on the same boat to see the future Palestinian state. We would like them to do the maximum to bring back Israel to the table,” said the Kuwaiti diplomat.
Al-Mubaraki however stressed that “at this moment we cannot take any decision or take any action as the government in Kuwait has resigned.” He said “it is quite clear that if there is no collective and unified and firm stand towards Israel then there will be no Palestinian state because Israel continues to confiscate more land, continues to build more settlements.” “In this case any talk about building institutions of the Palestinian state will be meaningless. That was our message to this meeting,” he said.
The one-day meeting was hosted by Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and presided over by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store in his capacity as chair of the AHLC.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attended the meeting, so did the Quartet Envoy Tony Blair and representatives from international organisations like the World Bank.
This Brussels meeting was is the first in a series of donor meetings planned for 2011.
The AHLC was set up to underpin the political efforts to achieve a two-state solution by supporting institution-building for a Palestine State.
The focus of the discussions was on the macro-economic situation, as well as the continued need for budget support to the PA.
The meeting was also used to introduce the Fayyad Governments development plans for 2011-13 and prepare for an upcoming donor Conference in June 2011, according to an EU statement.
Catherine Ashton told reporters after the meeting that “the Palestinian authorities made significant progress.” “Today Palestinian authorities 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.” She noted that for 2011 the EU has earmarked 300 million Euros for it.
“Yet it’s clear these events can only be sustainable in the event of a political breakthrough. The international community should not let thes concerted efforts go to waste,” she stressed. Agencies