Sweden may cut Palestinian aid over ‘lack of progress’
Sweden is considering slashing its aid to the Palestinians because of a lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution, International Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson said Friday.
She told public broadcaster Swedish Radio that aid paid out to the Palestinians to build up their administration in Gaza and the West Bank had been aimed at strengthening the Palestinian side ahead of a two-state solution with Israel.
“Is it worth it for us to continue helping them create the conditions necessary for a two-state solution if Israel and the Palestinians themselves don’t want to sit down at the negotiating table?” she asked.
“I don’t want to haggle with Swedish development aid, but I can only take the position of the Swedish taxpayers,” she said.
“They want to see results. And if the prerequisites are not there to achieve results, then you have to accept the consequences,” she added.
According to Swedish Radio, Sweden’s annual aid to the Palestinians could be slashed by 200 million kronor (23 million euros, $31 million), out of a total of 700 million.
The left-wing opposition criticised the centre-right government’s way of thinking.
“To opt out of Palestine the way this government is considering doing is the wrong way to prioritise,” the Social Democrats’ spokesman on development aid, Kenneth Forslund, told Swedish Radio.