CMI’s Palestine work enhances peace in the Middle East

Published on Monday, 23rd of January 2017

CMI emphasizes that bringing different parties around the same table is in the very core of its work.

Finnish conflict resolution organization CMI and Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry have supported Palestinian civil society organization MASARAT to organize an informal meeting between different actors of the Palestinian society to reflect on the current political and societal situation in Palestine.

The informal meeting took place in Switzerland in December 2016. Contrary to some information spread in the media, this meeting was not a bilateral meeting between Hamas and Fatah. The majority of the participants came from the civil society, women and youth organizations and academia, which are currently perceived to be excluded from the political system in Palestine. Some participants have links to a wide range of Palestinian political parties. The aim of the meeting was to build trust and common understanding between various Palestinian stakeholders and the objectives of the meeting are aligned with the international law and UN resolutions.

CMI emphasizes that dialogue – bringing different parties around the same table – is in the very core of its work. “We negotiate with everyone to solve a conflict. We have worked in Palestine for more than six years. Our work supports widely the reconciliation in Palestine and in the Middle East”, says the Head of Middle East and North Africa Maruan El-Krekshi.

The largest funder of the meeting was the Swiss foreign Ministry. CMI’s financial support came from private sources, not from the Finnish government. CMI’s support was focused mainly on the participants from the civil society. No so called “listed” persons received financial support from CMI. Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung published the news first in the end of last week.

Support to the meeting is well-aligned with CMI objectives of supporting Palestinian society to find broad common ground for building a democratic, just and unified Palestinian society and build grounds for peaceful development in the Middle East. These objectives are also recognized by the international community, including Middle East Quartet, as a priority to ensure proper service delivery, revive the Palestinian economy and decrease the risk of a new military escalation.