Making a Difference
Danish MPs question FM about PA paying terrorists’ salaries, prompted by two PMW reports
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Danish MPs question FM
about PA paying terrorists’ salaries,
prompted by two PMW reports

Excerpts from Open Council with Foreign Minister of Denmark Karsten Jensen in the Foreign Affairs Committee of Danish Parliament, May 17, 2016. Prompted by two PMW reports, one documenting the continued payment of salaries to imprisoned terrorists by the Palestinian Authority – The PA’s Billion Dollar Fraud – and one documenting Fatah’s endorsement of terror attacks and glorification of terrorists, which was released by PMW as a response to a question and answer session between Danish MP Søren Espersen and Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen, March-May 2016.


 
MP Klaus Kvist Hansen (Danish People’s Party): "There is something that puzzles me a bit. That is the minister’s self-confidence when he rejects that Danish aid money may have gone to this [PA] salary program for terrorists [documented by Palestinian Media Watch]. I would really like to share that self-confidence but it is difficult to understand what causes it.
I have noticed that, often, when funds are misused, then everybody (i.e., the donor countries) is busy saying that ‘our specific donation is going to the right purpose.’ Next country: ‘Our money is going to the right purpose.’ Everybody agrees that their specific share is going to the right purpose. But the money [that is being misused] is coming from somewhere. So I’m asking, would the minister consider talking to all the other donors [to the PA] in order to at least take joint action to stop this kind of practice. I understand that individual countries may have difficulties identifying precisely their own share but if all the donors stand united, saying: ‘We simply won’t accept this remuneration of terrorists, one way or the other,’ then it ought to stop one way or the other. Has the minister considered more joint steps?”

Foreign Minister replies to MP Klaus Kvist Hansen: “Yes, I will consider it. I’m not interested in seeing funds going in the wrong direction. If we can do a better job together by joining forces, then I think that is worth considering. In addition to our [own] aid and control mechanisms, the EU has its own control mechanisms. But if there is a way that we can better ensure that out taxpayers’ money, which I administer, is going to the right place, then I am open to it. I think this is a constructive suggestion and I will try to see if we can create support for it.”

MP Søren Espersen: “I appreciate the foreign minister’s declaration - in connection with MP Klaus Kvist’s question – that, at least on a more supranational level, [he is willing] to try to examine these things (i.e., the PA’s paying salaries to terrorists.) I am quite satisfied with that.”

MP Søren Espersen: “I want to thank the minister. Something positive has come out of this, no matter what. I think that the minister has said that [the ministry] will look into this (i.e., the PA/PLO’s salary payments to terrorists) together with [our] partners. The minister does not say without a doubt that we know where the money we give is going. That is what we must try to know more about. That was actually my idea with this question when I asked it. That is, that we cannot know. And I think that we, in our controlled country, being so unbelievably zealous in terms of every little penny that is spent of public funds, in this case, we have been too careless. Just because you (i.e., the government) have not wanted - it's the changing governments, it is not the [current] Liberal Party government I'm talking about here – [they] have been busy investing a lot of money in it [the PA] hoping it would have a soothing effect. And still there is a strong interest from - I think there should be, now that the PLO in this way actually awards almost half a billion, 1.2 billion kroner to pay prisoners, convicted prisoners, terrorists, and their bereaved relatives. That money has to come from somewhere, and that is with Danish funds as well.”