Tánaiste Simon Coveney to visit Israel and Palestine

Minister for Foreign Affairs to address Gaza blockade during meetings with officials

Tánaiste Simon Coveney is set to visit Israel and Palestine. Photograph: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Tánaiste Simon Coveney is set to visit Israel and Palestine. Photograph: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is to visit Palestine and Israel today, his fourth such visit in his current role.

Mr Coveney is to hold meetings with senior Israeli and Palestinian political leaders as well as UN officials, with a focus on urging an end to the blockade of Gaza and the implementation of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He said he would use the visit to “discuss how Ireland can support efforts towards a durable two-state solution to the conflict, and to convey clearly and firmly Ireland’s concerns about the impact of the occupation, including in relation to settlement activity and the blockade of Gaza”.

The Tánaiste is to meet Palestinian minister for education Dr Marwan Awartani and to sign a memorandum of understanding outlining Irish support for the Palestinian education sector.

There will also be a meeting with Mazen Ghunaim, who heads the Palestinian Water Authority, to discuss the State’s investment in solar energy in Palestine.

The schedule includes a visit to a UN-run school for girls which is supported by Irish Aid and meetings with officials from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Meetings with Israeli officials will take place in Jerusalem.