Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (110)

Finian McGrath

Question:

222 Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he met human rights organisations during his recent visit to Israel; and if so, if he will report on the meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2317/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

My visit to Israel and Egypt provided an opportunity to meet some of the key players in the Middle East peace process. In Israel I met President Katsav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and opposition leader Shimon Peres. In Egypt I had discussions with President Mubarak, Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher and the Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa. During discussions with interlocutors humanitarian and human rights issues were addressed as well as political and economic matters. I also had the opportunity to meet representatives of a number of Israeli human rights organisations during my visit to the Jaffee Centre at Tel Aviv University where I delivered a speech on Europe and the Middle East. I did not engage in substantive discussions on specific issues on that occasion.