Monday 16 July 2018

Varadkar: Israel's ambassador to Ireland will not be expelled

Taoiseach told the Dáil the government will actively seek a peace agreement in the Middle East that involves dialogue and engagement

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Israel’s ambassador to Ireland will not be expelled after troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters yesterday.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil the government will actively seek a peace agreement in the Middle East that involves dialogue and engagement. He said a move to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland would not help such a process.

Mr Varadkar condemned the Israeli actions and the border yesterday.

He said that while the protests may not have been peaceful, the use of live ammunition was an inappropriate response.

He supports an independent international investigation of events at the Gaza border yesterday.

“I am profoundly shocked at the death toll and injuries inflicted on people in Palestine,” said Mr Varadkar.

“The blockade of Gaza is inhumane and must end,” he added.

The Taoiseach said removing the Israeli Ambassador would be met with Ireland’s Ambassador being expelled from the Middle East, effectively shutting down communications between the two countries. He said this would have negative consequences.

“Our view as a government is that you solve conflict with dialogue and dialogue requires engagement and it requires an interlocular.

“We will continue to engage with Israel and Palestine and try to be part of a future peace process.

“We will also act through the UN and we have given our support to the UN secretary general in his call for an independent investigation in to this matter.”

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