The Norwegian head of the group that funds the effort to establish a Palestinian state has said that frozen diplomacy in the Middle East has left donors fatigued. Espen Barth Eide, who chairs the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee that contributes to the Palestinian Authority (PA), told the media in a press conference Oslo on Thursday 7 March, “There is a significant fatigue among many donors and a kind of questioning of whether this process leads to a Palestinian state,” the AFP reports.
He went on to add, “If the sense is that this is a deadlock and it remains a deadlock … I think that the fatigue problem will be very acute. And that means that the Palestinian Authority could collapse and … then Israel would get a much more difficult neighbour.”
Eide, who is also the Norwegian foreign minister, also said that contributions have already allowed the Salam Fayyad government to move forward with building facilities to establish a new state, although he added that the process is facing a crisis if donors become discouraged by the lack of diplomatic progress between Palestinian and Israeli officials.
The news comes ahead of an Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting scheduled in Brussels on 19 March, in which the group will take on the issue of the lack of payment from sources that had pledged aid to the effort, notably the United States and certain governments in the Middle East.