Ramallah, Palestine: A third joint meeting between the International Olympic Committee and the National Olympic Committees of Israel and Palestine was held on Thursday in Ramallah. The meeting followed IOC President Jacques Rogge’s visit to the region in October last year and two joint meetings that took place in January and May this year in Lausanne.
The aim of the third meeting, which was held in a very constructive and friendly atmosphere, was to review the progress made thus far and to consider future steps.
With respect to the issue of the free movement of Palestinian athletes, coaches, officials and sports equipment inside and outside the Palestinian territories, as well as of visiting foreign sports delegations, including athletes, all parties recognised the significant and concrete results achieved so far thanks in part to the “hotline” set up between the two NOCs.
The hotline was agreed to by the two NOCs at the second joint meeting in May to deal with issues as they arise and to improve communication. A further step was taken today with the signature of an agreement between the NOCs and under the auspices of the IOC to formalise the hotline at the NOC level and to establish a proper mechanism between the two NOCs.
On the subjects of cooperation and sports development, both NOCs agreed to continue to work together on joint, sport-related activities in a number of practical areas, including sport sciences, coaching and the preparation of athletes.
The parties also discussed the IOC-supported plan for the development of sport in the Palestinian territories, for which initial funding was provided by the IOC and the Olympic Council of Asia. In addition, the IOC and Olympic Solidarity continue to provide the best possible assistance to the NOC of Palestine, in particular for the preparation of athletes aiming to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Lastly, all parties welcomed the efforts and progress made by the International Mediterranean Games Committee for the participation of the NOCs of Israel and Palestine at the next Mediterranean Games. It was confirmed that the next joint meeting will take place in Tel Aviv.