08 July 2008

Micheál Martin leaves for Middle East Tour

This afternoon the Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin (photo) has left Dublin for his first diplomatic visits abroad since taking over at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

He is on a three-day tour to the Middle East which will focus on regional and international efforts to restore momentum to the Middle East peace process.

Martin's first destination is Cairo, where he will meet the Secretary General of the Arab League and the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Their discussions are expected to centre on the two-week-old ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement in Gaza, which was brokered by Egypt. Regional security issues and strengthening economic ties with Ireland will also be on the agenda.

On Thursday the minister will visit a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank area and meet UN and local representatives to discuss the humanitarian and security situation there.
He is also expected to meet senior members of the Israeli government and of the Palestinian Authority for talks on the latest developments in the Middle East peace process.

On Friday, before returning to Ireland, Micheál Martin will lay a wreath at the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

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