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Spain Continues To Fund UNRWA, Insists on International Peace Conference

Spain’s Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said Jan. 29 that Spain will maintain its support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). During a parliamentary commission meeting, Albares called the UN agency “‘indispensable,” and said the funding helps “alleviate the terrible humanitarian situation in Gaza,” reports Turkish press agency, Anadolu.

His announcement came after the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the United States, Germany, France, Japan, and Austria had suspended funding. Spain’s Foreign Minister said Madrid will be following UNWRA’s investigation closely, but noted that the inquiry is looking at the acts of “around a dozen people out of UNRWA’s 30,000 workers.”

Meanwhile, Albares added that Spain has tripled its funding to Palestine in recent months, to around €50 million, which includes funding for UNRWA. Albares also told politicians that Spain supports the Jan. 26 ruling of the World Court which calls on Israel to prevent genocide. “We urge the integral compliance with this sentence by all parties. We request an urgent ceasefire and the entrance of humanitarian aid,” he added. Albares warned that the violence in Israel and Palestine could spill over to neighboring nations, which could have “devastating effects for those countries, and the entire Mediterranean region.”

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government continues pushing for an international peace conference, which would see the entire international community recognize a “viable” State of Palestine. Albares said that 88 nations now back the idea.