Simon Coveney: Ireland 'gave clear message' to Israel to stop settlements

The Foreign Affairs Minister has also raised concern about the situation in Ethiopia, where thousands have been killed in the last year
Simon Coveney: Ireland 'gave clear message' to Israel to stop settlements

Foreign Affairs minister Simon Coveney says that "actions on the ground continue to undermine any effort" at a political resolution to the ongoing tensions and violence between Israel and Palestine.

Ireland has given a "clear message" to Israel that it must stop settlements, the Foreign Affairs Minister will tell an Oireachtas committee on Tuesday.

Simon Coveney will update the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs on Ireland's role on the UN Security Council a week after returning from the Middle East.

Mr Coveney will tell the committee that in his meetings with President Isaac Herzog of Israel that he "gave the clear message that Israel must immediately halt these actions and start to take concrete and sustained confidence measures to begin some level of trust".

He said that "actions on the ground continue to undermine any effort" at a political resolution to the ongoing tensions and violence between Israel and Palestine.

Israel's President-elect Isaac Herzog met with Simon Coveney last week.
Israel's President-elect Isaac Herzog met with Simon Coveney last week.

Mr Coveney will tell the committee that Ireland's presidency of the UN Security Council in September was "a unique opportunity to advance our priorities", including peacekeeping, climate security and non-proliferation.

Mr Coveney will tell the committee that the situation in Ethiopia is "of grave concern" to him. Thousands of people have been killed since the political dispute turned deadly in November last year.

The new fighting also defies calls for peace by the United Nations and others, and the threat of new sanctions from the United States and European Union.

People gather at a rally organised by local authorities to show support for the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), at Meskel Square in downtown Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday.
People gather at a rally organised by local authorities to show support for the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), at Meskel Square in downtown Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday.

"The events of the past year in Ethiopia have resulted in a human rights catastrophe," he will say.

While responsibility for ending the conflict rests with the parties, there is a moral imperative for the international community to take action.

He will say that Ireland is the "de facto penholder" of the file at the Security Council and has been "working ceaselessly" both in New York and Africa to "push for unhindered humanitarian access, an immediate cessation of hostilities and a negotiated solution".

He will say that some of the abuses in Tigray "may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity".

He will also update the committee on Ireland's work on the Iran Nuclear Deal, saying that he is "encouraged" by the approach of the US who he says will engage in talks. However, he will say he is "deeply concerned" by Iran's breaches of its commitments.

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