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Foreign minister stresses UNRWA’s ‘indispensable’ role at Madrid meet

Safadi meets Swedish FM, UNRWA commissioner in Madrid

By JT - Jul 06,2021 - Last updated at Jul 06,2021

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Swedish counterpart Ann Linde and UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini (not seen) attend a meeting in Madrid on Monday (Photo courtesy of Foreign Ministry)

AMMAN — In a trilateral meeting in Madrid on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Swedish counterpart Ann Linde and UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini overviewed preparations for a UNRWA international conference during the fourth quarter of the year.

The three sides highlighted the importance of the conference to guarantee the UN agency support and sustain the vital health, educational and aid services the agency offers to Palestinian refugees, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Safadi stressed that they are working to mobilise political and financial support for UNRWA. He stressed the importance of financial support to the agency to continue providing its vital services to over five million Palestinian refugees, as well as to more than 560,000 students at UNRWA schools in its five areas of operation.

The minister noted that the UNRWA’s role is “indispensable”, which was proven by the agency’s distribution of critical humanitarian services during the attacks on Gaza.

Safadi, Linde and Lazzarini also went over possible avenues to secure the international support necessary to meet the agency’s financial needs in light of increasing financial pressures on UNRWA and their repercussions on refugee communities and the budget and programmes of the agency.

Lazzarini delivered a brief on the agency’s financial status and its efforts to secure support for its future plans.

They also reiterated the need to continue the UNRWA programmes as part of international efforts aimed at securing the necessary financial support to the agency as a main pillar for regional security and stability.

The two ministers and commissioner general called for sustaining coordination with international partners to ensure political and financial support for UNRWA according to long-term financing mechanisms, which enable the agency to continue its services to Palestinian refugees without interruption.

Safadi commended Sweden’s efforts to mobilise financial support to the agency and stressed the importance of Stockholm’s role to reduce UNRWA’s financial deficit and guarantee sustainable support.

Safadi, Linde and Lazzarini also agreed to continue consultations on ways to secure the international support necessary to enable the agency to continue offering its vital services under the UN mandate.

Before the trilateral meeting, Safadi and Linde had also held bilateral discussions on improving relations in various fields between Jordan and Sweden and under the EU framework. The two officials also reviewed the latest regional developments and endeavours to resolve Middle East crises.

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