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Norway upgrades PLO mission, supports statehood
Published Thursday 16/12/2010 (updated) 17/12/2010 20:33
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President Mahmoud Abbas speaks alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Jens
Stoltenberg after meeting him in his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah
December 20, 2006. [MaanImages/Fadi Arouri]
OSLO, Norway (Ma'an) -- Norway's foreign ministry announced Wednesday that the status of the Palestinian representative's office in Oslo would be upgraded to a diplomatic mission as part of an effort of the Scandinavian nation to support Palestinian efforts toward building a state.

The announcement came while Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was in Oslo, where officials announced the coming international donors conference to take place in the city in April 2011. During the announcement the official said he hoped a Palestinian state could be established within the year.

Sr far, international donors have pledged $92 million in assistance to Palestine, including $24 million from Norway alone.

Speaking after talks with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, who heads the committee in charge of coordinating international aid to the Palestinians, did not give an exact date or venue for the meeting.

"We should all cling to the vision of 2011 being the year when we can see a new state on the world stage: the Palestinian state," he told reporters in Oslo.

"For that to happen, institutions need to be solid, governance needs to be transparent, security, schools, all these elements need to come in place," he added.

Fayyad meanwhile stressed the work done by the Palestinian Authority to lessen its dependence on international aid.

He pointed out that the aid portion of the budget had shrunk from $1.8 billion in 2008 to less than 1.2 billion this year and that the Authority aimed to do without budget aid altogether by 2013.

"It's no secret that the Palestinian authority has been reliant on aid for a number of years, effectively since the start, he said, stressing that "due to Israeli restrictions on our national sovereignty, the economy has not been able to operate up to its potential".

"Nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority has been making good and steady progress towards reducing progressively its reliance on international aid," he said.

Following Wednesday's talks, Stoere and Fayyad signed an accord regarding cooperation in the area of education, which the two men presented as a new step in the process towards establishing the institutions needed in the creation of a "viable" Palestinian state.

AFP contributed to this report
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1 ) southparkbear / usa
16/12/2010 17:08
cheers another great baleztinian victory

2 ) case biersteker / canada
16/12/2010 21:24
It is great that Norway is starting to see the deception of the military state of Israel. US AID to Israel has been $3 billion a year for decades. And they are promised $3 billion a year more per year for the next 10 years. See president Obama's address to AIPAC. Considering how most of that AID goes into high tech military war machines, like the latest 10 stealth fighters, it is no wonder Israel doesn't really want peace. Israel only talks peace while removing Palestinians from the land.

3 ) Mark Bernadiner / USA
16/12/2010 23:22
Israel-Arab Peace Plan Principles

Starting in 1948 from very first day of recreation of the State of Israel on the part of Israel territory, Arab countries waged several wars to eliminate Israel from her historic land. Israel won all wars and now Arab countries propose a peace agreement with Israel under conditions, which they intended to dictate. However, only Israel, who won all the wars and defeated Arab countries, has legal rights to formulate and dictate peace agreement terms and condi

4 ) Eric / Canada
17/12/2010 14:24
Mark. Your comments conveniently disregard some obvious and well known facts. The "recreation" of the "Israeli state" was done a) by the use of terrorism and b) without the consent of those who then occupied the land, rendering the whole process illegal as well as immoral. You want to use European anti-semetic sins to justify the creation of a state of Israel, then that state should be in Europe. You want to use the fact that the land in question is the historical homeland of the Jewish people

5 ) Eric / Canada
17/12/2010 14:31
Mark (continued) You want to use the excuse that the land in question is the traditional homeland for the Jewish people, I will accept that you sincerely believe that this is justice when you provide me with documents that prove you have signed over your property and all your families accumulated wealth to the nearest Native American nation, and you are activly lobbying for the US government to do the same.

6 ) Tony B? / ME
17/12/2010 17:05
#4&5) You spread the revisionist history lies of the Arabs.
1919 Weizmann/Faisal agreement gave Israel all the land including Jordan. Faisal represented the Arabs living on the land, who were immigrants, and until 1917, had rented from the Turks.
Arabs got all of the land agreed plus Jordan. They were not satisfied, so waged and lost wars. Now they try to steal the rest of the land by lies.
And morons like you buy into their tactics.

7 ) Fayez / USA
18/12/2010 02:41
Well said Eric. The Palestinians need to declare the establishment of their state and to the hell with what others think including Israel. Israel and its backers will never give the Palestinians a state. Many countries are ready to recongnize the State of Palestine.
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