International community must facilitate long-term Gaza solution - Flanagan

Minister says Irish Government remains committed to two-state solution

Palestinians in Gaza City celebrate  what they said was a victory over Israel following the announcement of a  ceasefire. Photograph:  Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Palestinians in Gaza City celebrate what they said was a victory over Israel following the announcement of a ceasefire. Photograph: Mohammed Salem/Reuters

 

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has welcomed the truce between Gaza and Israel but called on the international community to be proactive in facilitating a long-term solution to the conflict.

Mr Flanagan said everyone in Ireland “had watched horror and frustration” as the 50-day conflict that devastated the narrow coastal strip continued. The Irish Government remained committed to a two-state solution, he said.

“Our first imperative has of course been an end to the immediate conflict, but I have also stressed throughout the need for a long term political solution. This disastrous cycle of violence will only recur if there is no political effort to resolve the problems that lie behind it,” Mr Flanagan said.

He said it was incumbent on leaders on all sides to exercise their responsibilities to chart a new path that brings safety and security to all their people, and to face up to the difficult choices this may require.

“While there is an obligation on both sides to reach an accommodation, it is also the responsibility of the international community to be proactive in facilitating a long term solution,” he added.

Welcoming the ceasefire, Mr Flanagan said there seemed to be hope that “a terrible chapter of violence and terror for people especially in Gaza, and also in Israel” could finally be ending.

Despite earlier setbacks, he had been encouraged by recent signs that both sides were seeking an end to this confrontation.

“The Irish Government remains committed to a two-state solution; with a viable Palestinian state and a secure Israel.”

He also commended the Egyptian and Palestinian authorities, “who have been crucial in reaching this understanding”.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said the international community should act immediately to sustain peace.

“I welcome the current truce in the Middle East and am hopeful that it can be sustained,” Mr Adams said. “The international community must act now to ensure that international law is kept and that the siege of Gaza is lifted.”