European Affairs Minister Dick Roche is attending a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers at which Gaza and the Middle East will be top of the agenda.
The monthly gathering in Brussels is the first to be held under the Belgian presidency of the EU Council.
Ministers will hear from chief EU diplomat Catherine Ashton on her recent visit to Gaza and discuss the current US-led proximity talks.
Also on the agenda are Iran's nuclear ambitions and the recent UN sanctions resolution and the opening of accession negotiations with Iceland, to begin tomorrow.
Boat of bottles gets to Sydney
A boat made out of 12,500 recycled plastic bottles sailed into Sydney Harbour today, four months after it set out from San Francisco.
The crew of the Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran that weathered fierce storms during its 8,000 nautical miles at sea, left San Francisco on March 20.
The boat, meant to raise awareness about plastic waste, was being towed to the Australian National Maritime Museum.