GENEVA – Switzerland’s new foreign minister says the international community should decide whether the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians has become a “state within a state,” questioning whether the Swiss should continue to help funding it.
In what critics call a break from vaunted Swiss neutrality, Ignazio Cassis doubled-down on his recent comments that UNRWA had strayed too far from its original ambition to help Palestinians refugees temporarily.
Switzerland has given UNRWA more than $20 million annually in the last five years, and plans to continue similar funding through 2020.
Cassis told RTS radio Wednesday it’s his job to question Swiss public funding.
He visited Jordan this month. He told Aargauer Zeitung newspaper that UNRWA was once part of the solution, but has become “part of the problem” in the Middle East.