The top European diplomat indicates that the general feeling among States is that there is no substitute for the UN agency
BRUSELAS, 3 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, wanted to make it clear this Saturday that the EU has not suspended funds to the United Nations refugee agency for the Palestinians, UNRWA, pending its internal investigation into the possible involvement of some of its employees in the October 7 attack on Israel.
In an appearance during the informal meeting of foreign ministers held in Brussels, Borrell insisted that the European Commission has at no time stopped payments to UNRWA because the new delivery is scheduled for the end of the month and, until then, there is time to await the results of the agency's internal investigations.
"The European Union has not suspended funding to UNRWA. We are seeing a lot of misinformation today. News that the whole world is suspending its funding, when in reality very few countries have said it clearly," Borrell explained. before giving France as an example of a country that has adopted the "precautionary measure" of waiting for the internal investigation before providing the next tranche of financing.
"At the end of the month we will see where we are," Borrell added before conveying that the "general feeling" of the 27 is that the UN agency is essential as a humanitarian actor in the Gaza Strip, as well as for hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon or the West Bank.
"Among the majority of Member States, I perceive the general 'feel' of UNRWA has no substitute. It is an agency that has played a crucial role and not only in Gaza, but also for hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon or the West Bank UNRWA is in charge of them," he indicated.
"It is true that there are varied positions in this regard, but the general feeling is that support for the Palestinian population must continue," Borrell declared.
However, the top European diplomat has insisted that the EU expects an effective investigation from the UN agency and has highlighted the date of the next informal meeting of development ministers on February 11 and 12, to which he has invited to the agency's commissioner general, Philippe Lazzarini, to gather information.