Tánaiste Simon Coveney meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel
08 June 2018
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., yesterday met in Jerusalem with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, on the third day of his visit to the Middle East and Cyprus.
Speaking after the meeting, the Tánaiste said, “Since taking up office I have made helping to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict in the Middle East a personal priority. Today I am visiting Israel and Palestine for the third time in pursuit of that objective. I am glad to have been able, once again, to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We had an open and frank dialogue, discussing possibilities and concerns, issues we agreed on and issues we did not. As in my meetings earlier today with other key Israeli figures, and with Palestinian leaders, my focus was primarily on looking ahead to areas where we hope to make a difference.
We discussed the wider political process, including the initiative which the United States has been pursuing, and how Ireland and the European Union can play a constructive role in encouraging a return to real negotiations.
In the aftermath of the recent deeply regrettable events, I stressed the urgent need to break the downward spiral of the situation in Gaza, which is clearly unsustainable. I followed up my earlier discussions with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the possibilities for practical ways to help change the dynamic in Gaza, to the benefit of both sides.
The Prime Minister set out clearly his Government’s views, concerns and ideas on all of these issues. Prime Minister Netanyahu and I also discussed wider issues of mutual interest, in the broader Middle East region and globally, and our bilateral relations, including trade, which we both wish to see continue and to grow.”
08 June 2018
Note to Editors:
The Tánaiste met earlier on Thursday with Palestinian leaders, Foreign Minister Malki, PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat and head of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, Mohammad Shtayyeh. He will travel today to Cyprus for a bilateral visit.