Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende warned Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday evening that international pressure on Israel over the Palestinian issue will be renewed after the signing of the final nuclear deal with Iran in June. According to Haaretz, a Norwegian diplomat familiar with the details of the meeting said that Brende stressed the need for a political initiative by the new Israeli government when international attention focuses once again on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Brende’s meeting with the Israeli prime minister was unusually long, said Haaretz. It noted that the Norwegian minister is considered to be a friend of Israel and that his advice was friendly rather than threatening. Norway is apparently telling Netanyahu that if he hopes to renew negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, he must agree to at least one of the conditions set by President Mahmoud Abbas, as presented in the speech he gave on the anniversary of the Nakba on 15 May.
Abbas demanded a halt to the construction of settlements, the release of prisoners who were arrested before the Oslo Accords in 1993, and holding continuous negotiations for a year, at the end of which a timetable should be announced for ending the occupation by the end of 2017.
It is interesting that the kind of “international pressure” mentioned by Brende includes the French initiative to push a draft resolution in the UN Security Council for developing principles to resolve the conflict and a strict timeline to complete the negotiations over a permanent solution. The French newspaper Le Figaro published the principles included in the draft resolution on Wednesday.