Norway worries about possible US aid cuts to Palestine
The situation in the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula are among the topics in the talks that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservatives), will discuss in Washington over the next couple of days.
Søreide will on Wednesday accompany the Prime Minister in the meeting with US President, Donald J. Trump, and the heads of his administration. After that follows talks with the president’s son-in-law and special counselor, Jared Kushner, about the development in the Middle East. Negotiation counselor Jason Greenblatt will be present as well.
– I will discuss how we can work together to find a way to resume direct bilateral talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, says Søreide.
Both Søreide and Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) expressed concern at American cuts in aid to Palestine. Norway, as most are aware, is heading the so-called Group of Aid Countries to Palestine and fears that other countries, such as Arab countries and Iran, will be able to increase their influence in the region if the United States cuts back on its support.
Concerned about US aid cuts on both sides
– Both the Israeli’s and Palestinian’s are concerned about a reduction in the aid. That will have dramatic consequences on the ground. Others may fill the economic gap, and these are players who no one else are keen to do so, says Søreide.
– We worry if the United States pulls out. The heavier the other countries are involved, the greater the impact they will have on the solutions that are to come, Solberg adds.
She says she will repeat the Norwegian criticism of the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Isarel, if this becomes an issue during the talks with President Trump in the White House on Wednesday night.
– We stand for what we have said. This does not indicate that a two-state solution comes closer to becoming a reality, says Solberg.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today