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Statement by Tobias Billström

Nordic statement calling for release of Palestinian clearance revenues and preservation of correspondent banking services between Israel and the West Bank


The Nordic countries are greatly concerned by the withholding of Palestinian clearance revenues which is exacerbating the strenuous fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority. Like the G7 in its recent Apulia summit Leaders’ Communiqué, the Nordic countries call on Israel to urgently release the withheld clearance revenues as well as to ensure that correspondent banking services between Israeli and Palestinian banks are maintained. Any action weakening the Palestinian Authority or worsening the economic situation in the West Bank must be avoided.  We emphasise that maintaining stability in the West Bank, and preparing for one legitimate Palestinian government for the West Bank and Gaza, is critical for regional security and in the interests of Palestinians as well as Israelis. 

The Nordic countries are committed to supporting the Palestinian Authority and the necessary reforms that it must undertake. The strengthening of legitimate Palestinian institutions is the best way of weakening Hamas and is indispensable to a negotiated two-state solution, which remains the only viable basis for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Denmark

Elina Valtonen, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Finland

Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Iceland

Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Tobias Billström, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden