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Swiss phase out funding for Geneva Initiative

Yasser Abed Rabbo, head of the Palestinian delegation, together with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, and the chief of Israeli delegation, Yossi Beilin, (from left to right), during the signing ceremony for the Geneva Accord, in Switzerland in December 2003. Keystone/Sandro Campardo

Switzerland is to withdraw its financial support for a conflict settlement between Israeli and Palestinian civil societies.

This content was published on January 26, 2022 - 10:25
swissinfo.ch/urs

The foreign ministry said it decided to phase out its funding by 2024 following an external evaluation, saying the Geneva Initiative was important in the beginning but its effectiveness and impact diminished over the past two decades.

It also lacked political backing both from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, according to a statementExternal link released on Tuesday.

Switzerland has contributed about CHF18 million ($19.7 million) to the initiative since its launch in 2003. From 2009 it gradually reduced its annual financial support from CHF1 million to CHF180,000 last year.

The Geneva Initiative led to the Geneva AccordExternal link nearly 20 years ago and is considered a reference document to show options for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

The Swiss foreign ministry said it remains committed to promoting peace in the Middle East and it would allocate the funding for the Geneva Initiative to other similar efforts as of next year.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

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