Spain slams EU’s decision to freeze aid to Palestine

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Spain’s acting deputy Prime Minister, on Monday, slammed the EU’s decision to freeze funding to Palestine amid the ongoing conflict with Israel, Anadolu Agency reports.

On Monday afternoon, Oliver Varhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, announced that all payments to Palestine from Europe, its biggest donor, have been immediately suspended and all budget proposals are postponed until further notice.

Diaz is the leader of the Sumar party, which is the junior coalition party in the Spanish government. But discontent over the EU’s move to halt aid is widespread among Spanish leaders, diplomatic sources told Spanish news agency, Europapress, and daily, El Diario.

According to the reports, Spain’s Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares called Varhely to share his “disagreement” with the announcement. He also said that he and other foreign ministers were unaware of the move before it was announced.

Albares has reportedly asked the EU’s Foreign Policy chief, Josep Borrell, to bring the measure to freeze funding up for debate at Tuesday’s emergency meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers.

Sources in the Irish government also told Europapress that they disagreed with the EU’s move to cut funding and said the Council did not have the “legal basis” to make this unilateral move.

Hours after Varhelyi’s announcement, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic added nuance.