Minister Coveney begins visit to Middle East
Press release10 July 2017
Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD, begins his visit to the Middle East.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., will arrive in Israel this afternoon to begin a three-day visit to the Middle East, his first visit to the region as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Minister Coveney’s Itinerary includes a wide range of engagements in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ramallah.
On Tuesday, Minister Coveney is expected to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Benjamin Netanyahu.
This will follow a visit to Yad Vashem, where he will have an opportunity to pay his respects to the victims of the Holocaust, and to those who work to preserve their memory.
He will also pay a courtesy call on Israel’s President, Reuben Rivlin.
The Minister will engage with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, with meetings with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Riad Malki, on Thursday.
The Minister will also meet with UN officials, including the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolai Mladenov, and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Robert Piper, as well as representatives of Israeli and Palestinian NGOs funded by Irish Aid.
Speaking ahead of his arrival in Tel Aviv, Minister Coveney said,
“I am not new to the region and the issues faced, but this is my first visit as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“In that context, I am looking forward to hearing a diverse range of views, from the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as from other international and non-governmental actors.
“Of course, I will also use the opportunity to make clear Ireland’s concerns about the impact of the continuing occupation and the fact that, as things stand, the prospects of a comprehensive peace agreement remain dim”.
10 July 2017