To Ms Gunilla Carlsson,
Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation
We, Swedish organisations represented here in Jerusalem, working with different development programs supported by Sida, wish to express our pleasure that you as the Swedish Minister of International Development Cooperation are visiting the occupied Palestinian territory.
We have with deep interest noted your article that was published in Svenska Dagbladet (Monday 21/5) and we hope that you, during your visit, will get a good overview and more knowledge about the development cooperation with the Palestinians, as well as an increased understanding of how the now, 40 years long Israeli occupation is affecting the Palestinian people. The present situation is alarming and very serious, and the whole occupied area is like a ticking bomb completely controlled by Israeli forces and Israeli good-will.
We Swedish organisations working here in close cooperation with different Palestinian partners would like to send the following messages to you and the Swedish government:
- that the Swedish government continues to support the Palestinian people in different ways. Furthermore, as NGOs we wish to emphasize the importance of continued support to the strong Palestinian civil society, which is working hard to promote human rights, democracy and economic recovery. These good forces in the Palestinian society need this continued support.
- that the Swedish government works actively so that the European Union give full recognition to the Palestinian Unity Government and have direct contacts with the government as one government representing the Palestinian people.
- that the Swedish government works actively so the European Union starts to channel its support also directly through the Palestinian Unity Government, in order to build a sustainable Palestinian authority.
- that the Swedish government works actively so that the European Union lift its sanctions and boycott imposed on the Palestinian Authority and also puts pressure on Israel to release all the tax money they withhold since several years, since studies are proving that poverty is increasing despite increased aid and temporary mechanism.
- that Sweden, as a third party state, acts and promotes the decision from the Haag that the wall built on occupied Palestinian land must be removed as well as to put pressure on Israel to give full access and freedom of movement to people by removing the checkpoints and closures all over the occupied territory.
- that the Swedish government gives support to the Arab initiative for peace between the parties and also work more actively to see to that the United Nations resolutions are implemented so a viable Palestinian state can be proclaimed within the borders of 1967 with east Jerusalem as its capital.
We would welcome a continued dialogue with you and the Swedish government on above messages, and on how to in concrete terms build a viable and sustainable Palestinian state based on human rights, democracy and economic growth.