HomeTravelMicheál Martin will travel to Egypt and Jordan with trip to Rafah...

Micheál Martin will travel to Egypt and Jordan with trip to Rafah border crossing, focusing on ‘resolution of brutal conflict’


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The visit comes as tensions in the Middle East soar following attacks between Israel and Iran, and after a strike on the densely populated city of Rafah in southern Gaza, in which 18 children and four adults were killed.

Israel has said it will carry out a ground offensive on the city located at the Egyptian border, despite international calls for restraint – including from the US and Ireland.

Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin said his visit would aim to put the focus back on the “brutal conflict” amid increased instability in the region.

Mr Martin is due to meet this week with Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo and with Jordanian deputy prime minister and foreign minister Ayman Safadi in Amman.

“I very much look forward to meeting my counterparts in Egypt and Jordan,” he said ahead of the trip.

“Both countries have been at the forefront of international efforts to bring about a desperately needed ceasefire and address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, while maintaining a focus on longer-term political solutions.

“We will continue our discussions on how Ireland and other like-minded countries in Europe can support the resolution of this brutal conflict, including through the recognition of a Palestinian state and support for UN membership for Palestine.

“It is vital that we use any political capital that we have to generate momentum for a comprehensive regional peace, along the lines envisaged by the Arab peace plan.

“A two-state solution remains the only vision of the future that can ensure peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Mr Martin is also due to travel to the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza to meet humanitarian partners and to visit UNRWA programmes supporting Palestinian refugees in Jordan.

“Against a backdrop of increased regional instability, we cannot lose sight of the urgency of addressing the current crisis in Gaza and the wider Israeli/Palestinian issue,” he said.

“My visit to Egypt and Jordan will focus on continuing my discussions with key partners on the need for an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages and full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to Gaza.

“I will also focus on how Ireland can support regional efforts to return to a political pathway towards a sustainable and peaceful resolution of this conflict and a two-state solution.”

Speaking about Gaza, Mr Martin said: “We cannot and must not lose focus on the situation in Gaza, which remains extremely grave.”

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