Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (36)

Gino Kenny


36. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will condemn the unilateral decision by the USA to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its further humiliation of the people of Palestine by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21121/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

I have addressed the tragic events in Gaza in an earlier reply.

In my statement of 6 December I set out the Government’s view of the US decision to move its Embassy to Jerusalem. This was that the announcement was premature and ill-advised, and would be unhelpful to efforts to reach a resolution of the Middle East Peace Process, something which is very urgently needed. I conveyed to the US Government ahead of its announcement my concern about reports of US intentions, and I know that very many leaders around the world did the same. The announcement, when it was made, was thus very disappointing and difficult to understand.

My view that this move is a significant mistake and predictably divisive remains unchanged, following the formal transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem yesterday. This involved essentially the move of the Ambassador’s official location to the existing US Consulate building in Jerusalem. The actual transfer of the bulk of Embassy functions will await the construction of a new Embassy premises, which may be a lengthy process.

Thus far only three Central and South American countries have announced that they will follow the US move.

Ireland looks forward in due course to establishing Embassies in Jerusalem to both Israel and the future Palestinian state, following the conclusion of a peace agreement and in accordance with international law. Until then, our Embassy to Israel will remain in Tel Aviv.

Question No. 37 answered with Question No. 29.