Published on Sunday15thJanuary2017
Minister Flanagan participates in international Middle East Peace Conference
Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, Charlie Flanagan, today participated in a Conference on the Middle East Peace Process hosted by France.
Ireland was one of more than 60 countries and international organisations invited to attend the Conference in Paris.
Together with Sweden, Ireland worked on follow up to last June's meeting, in the area of consultation with civil society organisations.
Speaking in Paris, Minister Flanagan said:
I was very pleased to attend the Conference hosted by France, following up on our meeting here in Paris in June of last year.
It is rare to have such a coming together of diverse countries.
The Conference has sent a clear message that the international community believes that the only sustainable solution to the conflict is a negotiated two state solution.
This message is important at a time when some are casting doubt on a two state solution, by words or by actions. There is no workable alternative.
The continued expansion of settlements is closing the window on a viable two state option.
That message was also clear in Security Council Resolution 2334, which was adopted at the end of last year.
As I said here in Paris last June, standing still is going backwards. We need to see real progress.
Moving forward requires leadership on both sides.
While the ultimate agreement must be between the two sides, the international community has a role in making it possible.
I reiterate my thanks to the Government of France for taking this initiative and I look forward to discussing follow up with my EU colleagues in Brussels at tomorrow's Foreign Affairs Council.
Minister Flanagan had bilateral discussions with a number of Foreign Ministers in the margins of the conference including the Foreign Ministers of Tunisia, Qatar, Senegal and Mauritania.