Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D.,on the outcome of the Israeli general elections
“I have been following closely the reports on the preliminary results of yesterday's important elections in Israel. Although the final outcome is not yet known, it seems clear at this stage that Kadima, the party of Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, will be the largest party in the new Knesset. It also seems likely that some time will be needed to negotiate a new coalition government.
We have now reached a crucial moment in the Middle East Peace Process. I believe it will be very important that the new Government which emerges from these democratic elections remains firmly committed to the negotiation of a lasting and peaceful settlement of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. The strong message from the international community in recent weeks has been that negotiation is the only option. Only a solution which involves the creation of two viable states, living together in peace and security, can provide hope for a better future for the Israeli and the Palestinian people.
The principles and steps set out in the Quartet Roadmap continue to provide the framework for a lasting settlement. The Government, together with our partners in the EU, will continue to give strong and tangible support to Israeli and Palestinian political leaders who demonstrate the courage to take the difficult decisions required for a negotiated settlement. I look forward to working closely with the new Israeli Government towards this vital objective.”
29 March 2006