Sweden May Slash its Aid to the PA
Sweden is considering slashing its aid to the Palestinian Authority because of a lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution, International Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson said Friday, according to a report in the AFP news agency.
Carlsson was quoted as having told public broadcaster Swedish Radio that aid paid out to the PA to build up its administration in Gaza, Judea and Samaria had been aimed at strengthening the PA 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, according to AFP.
"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 ($31 million), out of a total of 700 million.
The left-wing opposition criticized the center-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.
The PA has complained of a financial crisis, the worse in its history, with its former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad having warned several times that the entity may fail and cease to exist.
The entity’s deputy prime minister for economic affairs said this week that the financial crisis is getting worse.
The PA, which relies heavily on foreign donors, has been begging the world to step up financial aid in order to save it collapsing. At the same time it has continued to provide huge monthly salaries to terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)