Ma'an News Agency
February 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Paris will host a new international donor conference for a Palestinian state in June, ministers from donor countries and the so-called Quartet on the Middle East said following talks Thursday.

"At the request of the PA, a new international donors? conference for the Palestinian State will be held in Paris in June 2011," a statement released after the talks said, referring to the Palestinian Authority.

The group also "call on Israel to take more ambitious, structural measures to continue to ease access and movement" of Palestinians.

"Measures need to be taken immediately to improve the movement of persons and goods, regarding the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip," the statement said.

"To meet the needs of the people of Gaza, full and effective implementation of the measures announced by Israel to alleviate the blockade on Gaza is indispensable," it said.

The statement said "a lasting solution to the situation in Gaza can only be achieved through peaceful means and by ending the blockade."

The announcement came after the French government hosted international peacebrokers for talks aimed to boost flagging efforts for Palestinian statehood.

Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister, took part in the talks with representatives of the Quartet -- the EU, Russia, the United States and the United Nations.

The meeting hosted by France's Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie reviewed progress following a 2007 conference at which international donors promised $7.7 billion in aid to the Palestinians over three years.

The statement released after the meeting called on the international community "to continue its efforts beyond what was initially pledged in Paris in 2007, and transfer their budgetary assistance as soon as possible."

It was issued at a dinner attended by Fayyad and hosted by Alliot-Marie. Other guests included the European Union's top diplomat Catherine Ashton, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and Gary Grappo, the deputy of Quartet representative Tony Blair.

Earlier Thursday, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who met with Fayyad, stressed that the upcoming conference should have a "real political dimension and it should be within the dynamics which will lead to the creation of a future Palestinian state."

The statement "welcomed the progress achieved by the Palestinian Authority, especially the strengthening of state institutions.

"There has been significant progress in particular as regards the management and transparency of public finance, governance, social improvements, justice and security issues," it said.

"If the PA maintains its current performance in institution-building and delivery of public services, it is well positioned for the establishment of a State at any point in the near future."

Fillon said the objective was the creation of a Palestinian state by the end of this year and underscored the need for the "immediate relaunching of the peace process."


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