- You have been traveling around here for a week, for talks with Israel and Palestine – for example Abbas, Peres and Tzipi Livni?
- Yes, this spring we experienced that the paradigm of the Oslo agreement had entered a dead end, and we had to consider whether it was possible to move forward, and still support a Palestinian state project. There were several of us in Norway who asked us if this had any meaning anymore.
- Did this have anything to do with Salam Fayyad?
We had been working with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for several years, but when he resigned, we were afraid that it would all collapse. I think the success of recent years was linked to his personality and abilities.
- Any examples of what worked?
- I think the Palestinians realized that they had to expand the tax base, by stimulating private economic activity. By stimulating an environment for private growth, Palestine could move away from donations and become self-sufficient. For example, a lot of good agricultural land is linked to the C-area, which Israel controls. There one could really carry out new constructions, set up companies, factories and water supplies.
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