International Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson of Sweden said, Friday, that her country is considering slashing its aid to the Palestinian Authority because of a lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution, according to Agence France Presse. According to public broadcaster Swedish Radio, the aid could be slashed by 200 million kronor (23 million euros, $31 million), out of a total of 700 million.
Interviewed by the station, she asked, "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?" Carlsson, who just returned from a visit to the area, said, "I don't want to haggle with Swedish development aid, but I can only take the position of the Swedish taxpayers. "They want to see results. And if the prerequisites are not there to achieve results, then you have to accept the consequences."
The left-wing opposition criticized 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 prioritize," the Social Democrats' spokesman on development aid, Kenneth Forslund, told Swedish Radio.