ZURICH: World football federation FIFA believes it is edging forward positively in its bid to ease the long-time problems of access for officials, competitors and equipment to and from Palestine.

The latest evaluation meeting considered the implementation of the parameters agreed last September 23 and both Palestinian and Israeli associations agreed that the new mechanism had improved communication between them.

The meeting was chaired by FIFA president Sepp Blatter and involved the pesidents of the IFA, Avi Luzon, and the PFA, Jibril Al Rajoub, as well as representatives from the Asian confederation and Europe’s UEFA.

Both associations agreed to strengthen the contact between their liaison officers with the prospect of signing a Memorandum of Understanding ahead of FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo in June.

Blatter will return to the Middle East for further meetings with both sides in April.

He said: “I’m pleased by the progress made by both associations in the past months. I remain confident that further important steps will be taken in the near future in order to reach a good solution for the development of football in Israel and Palestine.”