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Tánaiste begins visit to Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Cyprus

Tánaiste begins visit to Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Cyprus

 

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., today (Tuesday 5th June) begins a four-day working visit to Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Cyprus.

• On Tuesday 5th June the Tánaiste will be in Jordan.
• On Wednesday 6th June & Thursday 7th June the Tánaiste will be in Israel & Palestine.
• On Friday 8th June the Tánaiste will be in Cyprus.

His first stop will be in Jordan, where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, Mr. Ayman Safadi, to discuss the bilateral relationship and the opening of an Irish Embassy in Amman, as well as regional issues, including the Middle East peace process. The Tánaiste will visit a refugee camp, to see first-hand the impact that the Syrian crisis is having, both on Syrian refugees and on Jordan as a host country. The Tánaiste will also meet with business representatives and partners in Enterprise Ireland.

The Tánaiste will travel onwards to Israel and Palestine, where he will meet with senior political leaders. He will discuss with them what can be done to improve the situation on the ground, both for Israelis and for Palestinians, with a special focus on Gaza. This will be the Tánaiste’s third visit to this region since taking up his role as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Tánaiste will continue on to Cyprus, and on Friday 6th June, where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, Mr. Nicos Christodoulides, to discuss a range of topics, including Brexit and other international issues. He will meet with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus), Ms. Elizabeth Spehar. Finally, the Tánaiste will pay a courtesy call on Mr. Demetris Syllouris, President of the House of Representatives (Parliament).

Speaking ahead of the visit, the Tánaiste said:

“I am pleased to begin my first visit to Jordan as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. I look forward to discussing a broad spectrum of important issues, including bilateral relations and trade, the Syrian conflict, the Middle East Peace Process, and the challenges facing the wider region.

“This is my third trip to Israel and Palestine as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Middle East peace process is a high priority for Ireland. I will use this opportunity to convey Ireland’s views on the conflict, including in relation to the impact of the continuing occupation, and to discuss with the parties how Ireland can support efforts towards building a lasting, two state solution to the conflict.

“Ireland and Cyprus are likeminded on many issues, and I will have a busy agenda in Nicosia engaging on Brexit and the Middle East Peace Process, and looking at ways to capitalise on the commercial opportunities offered by the direct flights between both countries. I am also looking forward to meeting the Gardaí serving with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.”

 

ENDS

Press Office

5 June 2018