High time Ireland recognised the state of Palestine
Ireland should now recognise the State of Palestine so that the people of the Middle East can move towards a final and comprehensive peace settlement.
Late last year in the Oireachtas, Labour in government supported a motion to recognise a Palestinian state, and this symbolic recognition should be adopted at Government level. The Labour Party has always been strongly supportive of the Palestinian people. We have always worked to support a long-term, sustainable resolution of the conflict in the region which ensures that both the Palestinian and Israeli people can live in peace and security.
The long-standing position of the Labour Party on the Middle East has been informed by three principles:
- The need for a comprehensive multilateral peace agreement between Israel and Palestine which respects international law
- To deliver for the Palestinian people a secure, viable, contiguous state of their own
- To recognise the legitimate interests of the people of Israel to live in peace, prosperity and security with their neighbours.
In a ground-breaking speech at the UN General Assembly in 2011, the then Labour Leader and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, stated our full support for recognition of Palestine at the United Nations, and re-iterated Ireland’s long record of support on this matter. He repeated this position on numerous occasions as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
As Minister of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs until earlier this year, Labour’s Sean Sherlock secured substantial humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority, and I believe this should continue.
We believe that the early recognition of Palestine, would positively contribute to the goal which we all share of an end to the conflict and a secure future for both Palestinians and Israelis.
As spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, I will be doing everything I can to apply pressure on the international community effort, including our EU and UN colleagues to ensure that, at last, a credible international process is established to deliver a two-state solution state including a state for the Palestinian people.