Question No. 168
Parliamentary Question - Oireachtas
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the recent efforts at government, EU and international level to bring about a two state solution between Israel and Palestine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 24th October, 2017.
Ref No: 44890/17
Ireland, along with our EU partners, supports the achievement of a two state solution to the Middle East conflict. This support includes political efforts to encourage a resumption of direct negotiations, which are ultimately the only way to achieve peace, but also action on the ground on human rights and justice issues affecting Palestinians under occupation, including settlement activity, which are progressively endangering the prospects of such a peace agreement. Ireland has been an advocate of EU measures which distinguish between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory such as the territorial clause in the EU-Israel research agreement and the guidelines on the labelling of products originating from the settlements.
The initiative led by France, which culminated at the Paris Conference in January this year, and which the Government fully supported, restated international support for the two state solution but was unable to achieve international agreement on how to revive the political process to reach that objective.
In recent months the new United States administration has been actively exploring the possibilities for re-launching the process to reach a comprehensive peace agreement. This engagement is very welcome, and I have met myself with the US team to encourage their work and to underline to them the key parameters for an agreement which the EU has long espoused. In recent discussions with my EU colleagues, I have urged that the EU must both strongly support the US initiative, but also continue our own work on the ground to help preserve and create the political and physical space in which the two state solution can be achieved. I am actively exploring with EU colleagues how this can best be done.