FM Shalom told representatives of donor countries to the Palestinian Authority that there is now a new opportunity for peace in our region, which we must exploit.

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Spokesman)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met today in his Tel Aviv office with representatives of donor countries to the Palestinian Authority, in preparation for a meeting of these countries’ foreign ministers in Oslo on December 8, together with PA ministers Nabil Shaath and Salem Fayad.

Minister Shalom stressed that there is now a new opportunity in our region, which we must exploit. He added that Israel appreciates the activities of the donor countries and looks forward to cooperating with them, emphasizing that there is no reason for these countries to slacken their efforts at the present time.

Shalom pointed out that Israel is making progress in its efforts to assist the holding of fair and open elections in the PA. He called for strengthening the moderate forces in the region and emphasized there would be no concessions with regard to fighting terrorism and that Israel would not accept a cease-fire as a solution. The PA must take a strategic decision to end terrorism, he said.

The minister noted that the Foreign Ministry has decided to establish an apparatus to coordinate, deal with, and follow up the activities of the donor countries to the PA via the ministry’s situation room in Jerusalem.

In conclusion, Minister Shalom said he hopes that the atmosphere at the upcoming donors meeting would reflect the change in atmosphere and the new opportunity for peace in the region.