Following Norway’s lead, Sweden announced Sunday that it will re-establish political and economic relations with the new Palestinian coalition government.
During a visit to Ramallah, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that Sweden would not differentiate between Hamas and Fatah ministers.
“Just as we wouldn’t let a foreign body interfere with our governmental issues and differentiate between ministers, we believe the Palestinian government should be treated as a single entity,” Bildt said.
Bildt promised that his government would continue making every effort to assist the Palestinians financially.
Palestinian Minister of Information Dr. Mustafa Barghouti told journalists that he explained the unity government’s platform to the Swedish minister and called for the international community to recognize the new coalition.
He added that Sweden’s aid to the Palestinians increased 25 percent last year.
Palestinian officials have expressed satisfaction that a number of foreign representatives have met with Palestinian lawmakers lately, including from Sweden, Norway and even the United States. This indicates the beginning of the collapse of the boycott against the Palestinian Authority, they said.
The Norwegian government was the first to announce renewed contact with the Hamas-Fatah unity government last Saturday.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere issued a statement noting that “Norway welcomes the formation of the Palestinian unity government." The Hamas-Fatah coalition was taking steps toward complying with international demands, the statement said.
"Norway will thus on this basis re-establish political and economic relations with the Palestinian government," he said.