I thank the Deputy and I am glad we got to this question. As some people who know me will be aware, I have given a high priority to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past two years and I have worked consistently to maintain an international focus on the matter and support for the two-state solution.
From 2 December to 4 December 2019, I undertook a three-day working visit to Israel and Palestine, which encompassed a wide range of engagements in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza and Bethlehem, as well as a visit to an Israeli community close to Gaza. This was my fourth visit to Israel and Palestine in the past two years. I met senior representatives of the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as UN officials from United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA; the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, UNTSO; and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR.
At the previous meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, FAC, on 9 December in Brussels, I briefed EU foreign ministers on my visit. In following up the matters I raised, the FAC will discuss the Middle East peace process in more detail at its next meeting in January, and I look forward to participating in that discussion.
I remain engaged with the small group of participants who gathered in Dublin in February of last year to consider how best to encourage a move towards a just and durable peace.
The Israel-Palestine conflict featured in several of my discussions and meetings during the high-level week at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, including my meeting with a senior White House adviser, Mr. Jared Kushner. In that meeting, I clearly conveyed Ireland's encouragement for any efforts that can bring about genuine progress, made clear Ireland's support for the long-agreed parameters of a two-state solution and communicated Ireland's well-known views on the expanding settlements in the West Bank. All settlement activity is illegal under international law. Ireland's view represents the settled international consensus. I have been unequivocal about this in public statements when the question of settlements has arisen.
I will continue to ensure the Middle East peace process remains high on the Irish foreign policy international agenda.