Minister Cowen expresses shock at bombings in Middle East
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen T.D., expressed his shock at the suicide bombings in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem yesterday. He offered his condolences to the families of those killed in the attacks and his wishes for the speedy recovery of the many injured. The Minister said, “Outrages such as these advance no legitimate agenda and can only damage the interests of the Palestinian people and the prospects for a settlement of the conflict. They must be unreservedly condemned by all civilised people and States.” He urged the Palestinian Authority to take all possible steps to prevent further atrocities of this kind.
The Minister warned that the already fragile peace process is in danger of being overwhelmed by a cycle of violence and counter violence. At this crucial time it is necessary for both sides to exercise the maximum restraint and to keep their long term interests firmly in mind. They should take no actions which would make a renewal of the ceasefire and a revival of the Roadmap more difficult.
The Minister reiterated his call for the immediate necessary steps to be taken, including renewal of the cease-fire and an end to terrorist activities, an end to targeted assassinations, determined action by the Palestinian Authority to prevent terrorist activity and an end to building settlements and the construction of the security wall on Palestinian territory.
The Minister suggested that an early meeting of the Quartet to confirm the continuing validity of the Roadmap as the only way forward would be a timely measure to build confidence between the parties.