Statement by President von der Leyen with Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Dear Prime Minister,

Thank you for welcoming me to Ramallah. We have a lot to talk about today. First, about our support to Palestine. For many years, the EU has been supporting Palestine and the Palestinian people. As Team Europe, we are the largest donor in Palestine, with around EUR 600 million per year. And I am glad that the EU funds for 2021 can now be disbursed rapidly.

This is important, because EU funding supports the people, especially the most vulnerable. It also helps create the right conditions for economic opportunities. For example, by enabling access to clean water and reliable energy supply. Palestine now slowly exits the pandemic, but it suffers the consequences of the Russian aggression of Ukraine.

This brings me to the second topic. The Russian aggression has a devastating impact on food prices and supply. And indeed, Palestine is dependent on imports of Ukrainian cereals. And the situation is very difficult right now. The EU is with you. We have mobilised EUR 25 million to improve food security in Palestine.

And thirdly, we will of course also discuss the peace process. We welcome all efforts towards peace and remain committed to a negotiated two-state solution. A solution that gives the Palestinian people, especially the many young, the same rights and possibilities as others in the region. An independent, democratic and viable Palestine existing side by side in peace with Israel.

And finally, I wish to convey, dear Prime Minister, sincere regret for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. The EU strongly condemns the killing of the journalist. And we call for a thorough, independent investigation. Once more, thank you for welcoming me here, dear Prime Minister. I am looking forward to our discussion.

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