Palestine and Ukraine flags to be flown side-by-side at Leinster House

Ireland’s recognition of the state of Palestine takes effect on Tuesday with plans for beefed up diplomatic ties

Ireland’s recognition of the state of Palestine takes effect on Tuesday and is being marked by the flying of the Palestinian flag alongside the Ukrainian flag outside Leinster House.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin will bring plans to Cabinet on Tuesday to support the formal recognition of Palestine as a sovereign and independent state.

He will outline to Ministers the logistics of how the Government intends to establish full diplomatic relations with Palestine, including through the upgrading of the Palestinian Mission in Ireland to an embassy. This will be subject to a formal request from the Palestinian authorities.

The Representative Office of Ireland in Ramallah will also be upgraded to an embassy.

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An ambassador to Ireland from the state of Palestine will also be appointed after a formal request and Government approval.

The current Irish representative to Palestine will also be changed to the Irish ambassador to the state of Palestine.

Palestine’s ambassador to Ireland Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid has said she is “looking forward to seeing the flag flying on Leinster House” on Tuesday, describing it as “a big moment”.

A spokeswoman for the Oireachtas said the Palestinian flag “will fly alongside the Ukrainian flag on the Merrion side of the House”.

Mr Martin will tell Cabinet that Ireland’s “clear and consistent position over recent decades has been for the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory to end, and for Palestinians to enjoy the same freedom and right to self-determination as others”.

He is also expected to point out that Ireland was the first EU member state to endorse the idea of Palestinian statehood in 1980.

The Programme for Government states that Ireland will “recognise the State of Palestine as part of a lasting settlement of the conflict, or in advance of that, when we believe doing so will progress efforts to reach a two-State solution or protect the integrity of Palestinian territory”.

The Government will be asked to recognise the State of Palestine as a sovereign, independent State, within the territory defined by the 1967 borders referenced in a United Nations Security Council resolution.

Separately, Mr Martin will also seek approval for a counter motion on a People Before Profit private members motion on neutrality which will be debated in the Dáil on Wednesday.

People Before Profit’s motion calls on the Government to withdraw plans to end the triple lock, and to hold a referendum enshrining neutrality in the Constitution, as well as ending the use of Shannon Airport by the US military.

In response, the Tánaiste will outline the work of the recommendations of the Consultative Forum on International Security Policy last June, and point to the fact that the Triple Lock currently gives a veto to UNSC members such as Russia.

He will argue that existing legislation already requires all foreign military aircraft wishing to overfly, or land in, the State obtain diplomatic clearance from the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times