Transcript of exclusive interview with the Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom

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Interview conducted in Amman, Jordan on September 2, 2019

AmmanNet:   How would you describe your talks in Jordan? Has anything new come up?

Wallstrom: These are easy talks because we are longtime friends and we have excellent bilateral relationship. I pointed out that we are very grateful for everything that Jordan is doing in hosting so many refugees welcoming so many refugees and the position you have in constructive diplomacy and also your interest in your neighborhood I don’t see any bilateral problems but close cooperation especially when it comes to the Palestinian refugee issue.

AmmanNet: When it comes to the Palestinian refugee issue. Sweden and Jordan are co leading the fund raising for UNRWA and they still have 120 million short this year. Will you be able to raise the needed money or will we see cut backs in services?

Wallstrom: We have to raise the money we will make every effort to do that especially in UN General Assembly and we will ask every country and insist on funding for UNRWA. It is also a choice do you want to have these young people in the streets or schools and all the help that is provided by UNRWA it is very important.

AmmanNet: You worked with UN before, are you confident that you will raise the money to cover the deficit?

Wallstrom: It is a constant problem, every year we do this and we will continue to do it and we very much linked to see a long-term political solution and to make sure that there is financing for refugees because it is life saving and very important for millions of Palestinians

AmmanNet: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is talking about annexing parts of the West Bank, and your country is the only one in Europe that has recognized Palestine. Will you be able to encourage other countries to ensure that the two-state solution doesn’t die away?

Wallstrom: That is why we recognized Palestine because we want to give a push for the two-state solution, we want to give hope to the people in Palestine and Palestinians everywhere we want to make sure that we help Palestinians to fulfill their role in the two-state solution. 

AmmanNet: But many parliaments in Europe recognized Palestine..

Wallstrom: I think that we hope that we can share our experience and we are hopeful. It would be helpful if these countries will follow and recognize Palestine. We have been used as a warning to others and we have felt the consequences. I think that they wanted to use us as a warning to others.

AmmanNet: In Yemen you worked on the Stockholm agreement and you met with the Yemeni government, Has the action in Eden complicated the situation or will it speed up a solution?

Wallstrom: It has complicated the situation what happened in Eden, but I think it also has exasperated further the situation and it has shown us the need for a solution. I think we have to act on several tracks right now. We have to make sure that there are discussions on what is happened to continue implementation of agreements and it is also important to work with all actors, that is why I am here to see what can be done. We have to stop this war. We have to ease the suffering of all these that are needing humanitarian help that has to be the motivation.

AmmanNet: Do you have new ideas?

Wallstrom; I think we have come up with some new ideas that we have shared some of our impressions and we have been taking to different actors and so I think we will be even tougher in stopping the war and to say that we have to protect children who are dying and the immense suffering that is taking place. 

AmmanNet: Are you optimistic

Wallstrom: I am realistic. The only thing that remains for us is hope and we keep that hope alive. 


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