Tánaiste visits the Middle East
Tánaiste Micheál Martin T.D. visits Israel, the occupied Palestinian territory and Jordan.
Monday, 4 September marks the beginning of week long series of high-level political meetings for the Tánaiste. During the visit, the Tánaiste will also meet with UN and civil society partners providing support to people in the region.
In Israel, the Tánaiste plans to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
He will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied Palestinian territory. Travelling to Jordan the Tánaiste will have a number of engagements including a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Ayman Safadi.
Tánaiste Micheál Martin T.D. said:
“This visit is an important opportunity to see the political, security and human rights situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
There has been a worrying escalation in violence over recent months. Ireland has been consistent in its calls for the protection of civilians and the application of international law. This visit will allow the opportunity to discuss directly these issues with political leaders, as well as with Ireland’s civil society partners.
“The visit will be my first to Jordan since the opening of Ireland’s Embassy in Amman.
I am looking forward to seeing the strengthened bilateral relationship between us, including Ireland’s support for the Jordan Young Scientist Programme and other innovation initiatives.
Jordan also hosts a significant number of refugees from Syria, Palestine and elsewhere. I will meet with refugee families and UN partners and reiterate Ireland’s continuing support.”
Day 1: Tuesday, 5 September
The Tánaiste firstly travelled to the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, Yad Vashem. He lay a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and also visited the Children’s Memorial.
The Tánaiste said:
“At a time when there is a worrying rise in antisemitism and Holocaust denial globally, it is fitting that I should commence my programme by visiting Yad Vashem and laying a wreath on behalf of the Government and people of Ireland. I know that this will be a deeply moving experience.
Tánaiste then visited Lod, a mixed Jewish-Arab city where he met with members of local government along with representatives of the Abraham Initiatives project. Funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, this work promotes engagement and dialogue between the Jewish and Arab Israelis who live there.
Visiting the National Library of Israel, he viewed some of the archives from the Genealogical History of the Irish Jewish Communities. This was presented to the library late last year.
Day 2: Wednesday, 6 September
The Tánaiste visited occupied Palestinian territory for a full day of engagements with political, UN and civil society contacts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
First traveling to Beitunia Secondary Vocational School for Girls in Ramallah, to meet with teachers and students.
Later, the Tánaiste met civil society representatives working in the area of human rights and accountability. He was also be briefed by members of the West Bank Protection Consortium and meet with UN officials.
The Tánaiste undertook political meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and with the Secretary General of Fatah’s Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub.
Day 3: Thursday, 7 September
Micheál Martin TD’s visit to the Middle East continued with engagements in Jerusalem and Amman.
The Tánaiste first met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
Travelling to Jordan, his first as Tánaiste, he visited Khalda Refugee Registration Centre. There he met with a number of United Nations Agencies which Ireland supports. These included the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF, as well as with Syrian refugees in the centre.
A meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Jordan, H.E. Ayman Safadi followed. Together they signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Ireland and Jordan to establish Political Consultations.