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Source: Sweden
16 December 2005




Sweden contributes to increased security in the Palestinian areas

The Government has decided to provide substantial support to improve security and living conditions in the Palestinian areas.

The Government is contributing SEK 20 million to support EU action to transform and modernise the Palestinian Civil Police. In addition, the Government has decided to provide SEK 40 million in assistance to the Quick Impact Program for positive economic development in Gaza. The funds will be channelled through the UN refugee organisation UNRWA, which has a central role in improving the situation of Palestinian refugees.

"For Sweden, it is important to contribute to international efforts to increase security in the Palestinian areas. Palestinians will be better able to combat terrorism. The support improves the prospects for a resumption of the peace process," says Minster for Foreign Affairs Laila Freivalds.

"By providing aid to the Quick Impact Program and the EU Police Mission we are helping to establish better and more secure living conditions in the Palestinian areas," says Minister for International Development Cooperation Carin Jämtin.

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At the turn of the year, the EU Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS), which is supporting the transformation of the Palestinian Civil Police, will be expanded. The purpose of the Mission is to assist in building up a modern police force that establishes law and order and promotes human rights. A more effective police force will be more able to combat terrorism. The Deputy Head of the Mission is a Swede and additional Swedish advisers are likely to join the Mission when it is expanded at the turn of the year. These contributions will make Sweden one of the largest donors to the Police Mission.

The Quick Impact Program is intended to generate quick and positive development in Gaza after Israel's withdrawal. It includes measures to create jobs, build up infrastructure and improve the environment. The Program is headed by James Wolfensohn, who has been appointed by the Quartet (EU, UN, USA and Russia).

Support for EUPOL COPPS and the Quick Impact Program is being provided alongside Sweden's substantial contribution to the EU mission to monitor the operation of the border crossing point at Rafah between Gaza and Egypt.

    Contact

Anders J Ericson
Press Secretary
+46 8 405 54 69
+46 702 67 36 61

email to Anders J Ericson
John Zanchi
Press Secretary
+46 8 405 59 39
+46 70 2602664

email to John Zanchi
Christian Carlsson
Press Officer
+46 8 405 58 80
+46 70 257 56 56

email to Christian Carlsson
Fredrik Florén
Desk Officer
Middle East and North Africa Department
+46 8 405 50 36
+46 730 20 85 84


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