Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Questions (61, 110)

Matt Carthy


61. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the progress his Department has made towards honouring the Government commitment to recognise the state of Palestine. [23883/21]

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Ruairí Ó Murchú


110. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his engagements with the Israeli authorities regarding the commitment to recognise the state of Palestine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24262/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 61 and 110 together.

I have been clear in my engagement with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority of the commitment of this Government to advancing a Two-State solution, in line with the agreed parameters for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Programme for Government states that the Government will “Honour our commitment to recognise the State of Palestine as part of a lasting settlement of the conflict, or in advance of that, when we believe doing so will progress efforts to reach a two-State solution or protect the integrity of Palestinian territory”.

I have been clear that, in the absence of progress towards a two-State solution, I would be prepared to recommend to the Government early recognition by Ireland of a State of Palestine, if and when it might be helpful. It is a matter that I discuss with EU colleagues. Recognition by Ireland outside the context of an overall peace agreement would, however, be likely to affect Ireland’s influence on the Israel-Palestine conflict at EU and international level. Timing and context would affect whether such a loss of influence would be matched by a commensurate benefit for the Palestinian people and a positive impact on the peace process.

The holding of credible and inclusive elections is an important element of state building. Elections are critical for renewing the legitimacy of Palestinian national institutions and building Palestinian national unity. In this respect I am deeply concerned by the postponement of Palestinian elections. I urge all parties- the Palestinian leadership and Israel -to commit to ensuring that the Palestinian people can exercise their democratic rights.