Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Sweden takes the EU Presidency in July, and at a private meeting in Stockholm I had the chance to put questions about Palestine and the nature of the incoming Israeli government to Carl Bildt, the foreign minister (and former prime minister).

"There are two pieces of good news," he said. "The Gaza situation has helped ensure that the EU is more united in its policy than ever before. And the Obama approach with the appointment of George Mitchell has brought us even closer to the US administration.

"There is no more good news. I think it was a mistake for Israel not to do a deal with Hamas over the release of prisoners. The Gaza blockade continues. There is no reconstruction. The Israelis say they are concerned about arms smuggling but no arms will pass through Israeli checkpoints.

"Our policy has to be to insist on the Palestinians' right to a separate state."

No commitments were made. A wait-and-see approach continues. But the way Bildt spoke was a great deal more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than anything I have heard from the current Czech Presidency.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thats good news the Swedes have a great history of justice, and lets hope by the time it comes round to the next Czech leadership they will have a left of centre government.