Dáil Éireann - Volume 586 - 26 May, 2004
Written Answers - Middle East Peace Process.
Mr. O’Connor Mr. O’Connor
132. Mr. O’Connor asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on his contacts in respect of Palestine and efforts to find peace; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15743/04]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen:I have had many contacts in recent weeks on the subject of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East. On 4 May, I led the European Union delegation to a meeting of the quartet in New York. The meeting was also attended by the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Secretary of State of the United States and the  Foreign Minister of Russia. At the conclusion of the meeting a statement was issued reaffirming the principles underlying the peace process and the bases for negotiation. The statement also identified areas for action by the quartet and these are currently being developed by the envoys of the quartet members.
On 5 May, I had bilateral meetings with the Israeli and Palestinian Foreign Ministers in the margins of the Euro-Mediterranean mid-term ministerial meeting in Dublin. I also had a meeting with the Secretary General of the Arab League. I took the opportunity to brief them on the outcome of the quartet meeting and on our expectations of action to take the peace process forward.
The issue was again discussed at the G8 ministerial meeting in Washington on 14 May. The situation in the Middle East was also discussed by Foreign Ministers of the European Union at the regular meeting of the Council on 17 May and with the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Co-operation Council on the same day. On 19 May, I received a ministerial delegation from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference which is visiting the capitals of the quartet members to convey the concerns of the leaders of the Islamic world regarding the peace process.
I can assure the House that the Middle East peace process has been a major theme of our EU Presidency to date and that I shall remain fully engaged in efforts to advance the peace process through negotiations and political contacts.
Dáil Éireann 586 Written Answers Middle East Peace Process.