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‘Recognition of a Palestinian state will happen’

Tánaiste Micheál Martin will bring a formal proposal on recognition of a Palestinian state to the Government when “wider international discussions” are complete.

“Be in no doubt recognition of a Palestinian state will happen,” Mr Martin, who is also Minister for Foreign Affairs, said in the Dáil this evening.

Speaking after Taoiseach Simon Harris announced his new Cabinet, the Fianna Fáil leader outlined several priorities for his department.

“The grave humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, the desperate overwhelming need to return some hope to this region will continue to be an urgent priority,” he said.

“I am in no doubt that war crimes have been committed, and I openly condemn the ongoing bombardment of the Gaza people.”

He dismissed what he called performative objections in the Dáil.

“Our approach of building international alliances to the hard work of direct diplomacy will achieve far more for the Palestinian people,” Mr Martin said.

He said international partners have “agreed that the undermining of the Oslo Accords and therefore the agreement to create two states has reached the point where the accord’s approach of recognition after a final agreement is not credible or tenable any longer”.

“I’ve discussed this with those in the region who are working on peace initiatives, and coordination with other countries continues intensively.

“We’ve discussed this between the Government parties and it is my intention to bring to Government a formal proposal on recognition when these wider international discussions are complete.

“But be in no doubt recognition of a Palestinian state will happen,” he concluded.

This was met with sustained applause.

Mr Martin also paid a warm tribute to Simon Coveney, prompting applause from Government TDs.

Last week Mr Coveney announced that he would be stepping down from the Cabinet.

Mr Martin condemned the Opposition whose objections are “so cartoonishly over the top, that it’s impossible to take it seriously”.

He said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government had to face down “a profoundly cynical Opposition, which repeatedly called for measures which would have caused immense harm”.

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