Meeting of UN donors draws Israel and Palestinians together for first time

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Roed-Larsen, attended the meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.It brought together donor countries, the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and was the first time in almost a year that Israeli and Palestinian officials sat face-to-face and exchanged views.Participants said the meeting took place in a positive spirit of cooperation as recent developments on the ground offered new opportunities.Donors and the United Nations said steps should be taken by Israel to lift the closures in the Palestinian territory to increase freedom of movement and ease the humanitarian situation for the Palestinians.They also urged the Palestinian to redouble their reform efforts, specifically in the judicial and security areas.The Palestinian delegation was congratulated for a smooth political transition.