The United Nations official charged with coordinating the Middle East peace process has welcomed the announcement that an agreement has been reached on the release of Palestinian tax revenues by Israeli authorities – a move in line with the Paris Protocol.
“Withholding these revenues for over four months has undermined the stability of the Palestinian institutions and the ability of Prime Minister Hamdallah's government to pay public sector salaries and provide needed services,” said Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in a statement issued earlier today.
According to a recent Security Council briefing by Mr. Mladenov's predecessor, Robert Serry, as of 26 March the amount of withheld revenues added up to over $400 million dollars, deepening the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis.
“The agreement is an important step in the right direction for both sides,” Mr. Mladenov added in his statement.
Mr. Mladenov, whose mandate includes representing the Secretary-General and leading the UN system in all political and diplomatic efforts related to the peace process, also coordinates the humanitarian and development work of UN agencies and programmes in the occupied Palestinian territory, in support of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.