Schallenberg in the Middle East – “With peace there are no forced marriages”


Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) met Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Wednesday during his trip to the Middle East. For the Austrian top diplomat it is clear: the time is not yet ripe for the Alpine Republic to recognize the state of Palestine.

“In peace there is no forced marriage,” Schallenberg said on Wednesday after a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh in Ramallah. He campaigned for a peace solution imposed by the international community, with recognition of Palestine as the first step.

Asked whether Austria could also take a position against Israel on the recognition issue, Schallenberg said such a step “must be part of a process” and cannot be taken by Austria alone. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Schallenberg said. “First, it has to make a difference, second, it has to come at the end of the process.” Otherwise, recognition is just something ‘that may generate attention for a moment, but does not change the matter itself.’

Unlike Israel, the Palestinians are in favor of an “imposed solution” to the conflict, Schallenberg reported from his conversation with Shtayyeh. ‘They don’t actually want a political process. They say: “It’s not possible, we can’t do it alone,” the foreign minister said, referring to the repeated failed attempts at a peace solution over the past three decades.

Humanitarian interventions are intended to rescue hostages
The Foreign Minister met with Israeli security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning. As Schallenberg announced on Twitter, the conversation focused mainly on humanitarian pauses, which are intended to allow aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages. “It is also essential to have a credible plan to protect civilians in Rafah,” Schallenberg reiterated.

Schallenberg came to Ramallah with a new Gaza aid package worth ten million euros. Aid payments have amounted to 23 million euros since October and are many times the regular development aid for the Palestinian territories, the deputy head of the Austrian representation in Ramallah, Oliver Walter, confirmed to journalists. The EZA agency ADA has an annual budget of around five million euros for Palestine, which is used to finance projects for women or water purification. For example, the intention was to build a seawater desalination plant in the Gaza Strip, but this is currently not possible due to the war.

Source: Krone


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this