CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP, has welcomed DfID’s commitment to provide funding to peaceful coexistence projects between Israelis and Palestinians, following a cross-party Ministerial meeting.
Together with CFI’s Honorary President Lord Polak CBE and LFI’s Ian Austin MP, Sir Eric met today with the Minister of State for International Development, Rt. Hon. Sir Desmond Swayne MP.
The parliamentarians discussed DfID’s recent pledge to consider peaceful coexistence projects for funding, along with the PA’s payment of salaries to convicted terrorists.
Following the meeting, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP said: “CFI and LFI met today with Minister of State for International Development, Rt. Hon. Sir Desmond Swayne MP, for a constructive cross-party dialogue.
“I welcome a shift in DfID’s funding towards peaceful coexistence projects that better supports a peace process, along with the Minister’s agreement to look at alleged abuses of British aid by particular Palestinian NGOs.
“We also registered our concerns about the Palestinian Authority’s continued payment of salaries to Palestinian terrorists and will have further conversations on this in due course.
“I look forward to working closely together with LFI and the Minister on this important issue which can go some way to securing a lasting two state solution”.
On Monday, a number of Conservative MPs urged the Government to review aid to the Palestinian Authority’s general budget and increase spending on coexistence projects in a Westminster Hall debate on foreign aid spending.
The debate followed concerns raised by numerous Conservative MPs and highly publicised reports in the Mail on Sunday about the Palestinian Authority’s misappropriation of foreign aid from its fungible general budget to fund the salaries of Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorism.