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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. meets Prime Minister Netanyahu


Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. meets Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel 


Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney TD today met in Jerusalem with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel.


Speaking after the meeting, the Tánaiste said:


“I am glad to have had another opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We had a frank discussion which included possibilities for the future but also our concerns in the present.


For my part, I focussed on three broad themes in relation to the issue of the conflict. Firstly, the political process, the prospects for returning to negotiations between the parties, and how Ireland and the European Union can play a constructive role in that.


Secondly, the critical issues on the ground which I believe are deeply damaging both to the lives of Palestinians and to the prospects of peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. 


And thirdly, the urgent need to break the downward spiral of the situation in Gaza, which is clearly unsustainable. I have been very interested in exploring ways of helping change the dynamic in Gaza, and I discussed the possibilities with Mr. Netanyahu.


The Prime Minister set out clearly his Government’s views and perspectives on all these issues. I believe we both found the discussion helpful and stimulating.


I will discuss these themes further in my meetings today and tomorrow in both Ramallah and Gaza.


Prime Minister Netahyahu and I also discussed issues of mutual interest, including the healthy growth of trade between Ireland and Israel, which we both wish to continue.


Helping to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict in the Middle East has been a priority for me since I took office. This issue is of deep interest to many people in Ireland, and in the course of our conversation I told the Prime Minister that I believe it is counterproductive to exclude from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory groups which have a deep interest in this situation. This does not help to build a better mutual understanding.”