Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ceisteanna (68)

Michael Moynihan


68. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if Israel and Palestine were discussed at his meetings at the UN. [39950/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to be a high priority for Ireland, for the European Union and for me personally.

While in New York in September for the high level week of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, I attended a number of events and meetings and also held a series of bilateral meetings with a range of Ministers and other interlocutors. The Israel-Palestine conflict featured in several of these discussions and meetings. For example, I discussed the issue with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States. I also met with senior White House advisor Jared Kushner to discuss the Middle East Peace Process and the situation in the region. In that meeting I clearly conveyed Ireland's encouragement for any efforts that can bring genuine progress, while also making clear Ireland's support for the long-agreed parameters, which any new Middle East peace initiative would need to include, in order to have a realistic prospect of being acceptable to both parties.

During the United Nations high level week, my colleague Minister Zappone also attended a Ministerial meeting for key partners of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Ireland is a strong and longstanding supporter of UNRWA, which is mandated with providing essential services to the 5.4 million registered Palestinian refugees across the region, including education, healthcare and humanitarian relief. Ireland has disbursed €5 million to UNRWA so far this year and we are in the process of releasing a further €2m in funding.

During that week, the Middle East Peace Process and the situation in the Occupied Palestinian territory was also an important theme in the meetings undertaken by senior Irish officials, for example in a meeting with the EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Ms. Susanna Terstal.

I will continue to do everything I can to ensure Ireland can influence the political debate with the aim of resolving the conflict and bringing to an end the Israeli occupation.

Question No. 69 answered with Question No. 50.