The Swedish government may cut back on financial assistance to the Palestinians following their failure to move forward with peace negotiations with Israel, Swedish news site The Local reported.
The report quoted Development aid minister Gunilla Carlsson as asking: “Is it worth continuing developing the prerequisites for a two-state solution if Israel and the Palestinians themselves do not want to sit down at the negotiating table?” Sweden donates $107 million annually to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a move that Carlsson says has been made to fortify the Palestinian’s position in any peace talks.
However, if there are no negotiations, than the Swedish demonstration of support would become meaningless. “I don’t want to haggle with Swedish aid money, but I can only take the perspective of the Swedish taxpayers,” Carlsson said. “One wants results.”
Sweden’s left leaning parties slammed the aid cut-back proposal.
“To drop the Palestinians in the way that the government is now considering doing is wrong,” Social Democrats’ aid policy spokesman Kenneth G.
Forslund was reported as saying.
Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called out to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, “I call on Abbas to put preconditions aside and talk. Give peace a chance.”
Abbas responded by saying “There will be no peace without Jerusalem [as a precondition]. There will [be] no security and stability without Jerusalem.”
Khaled Abu Toameh and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.