Fine Gael Kerry Senator and Government Chief Whip in the Seanad, Paul Coghlan, has stressed that a two state solution is the only answer to the Israeli Palestinian crisis. Senator Coghlan was speaking after the Seanad was reconvened yesterday to discuss the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.
“As a first step I strongly believe there must be an immediate ceasefire and an end to the blockade of Gaza.As Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan indicated in his speech to the Seanad yesterday, without substantive peace talks, we are going nowhere and talks will not take place without the lifting of the blockade.
“This conflict is utterly futile and in no one's interest. I do not understand how the parties involved do not see this. There must be accountability as there clearly have been breaches of humanitarian law. At its most basic level, they share the land and must respect one another's culture and traditions. That is not impossible to achieve as we have shown here in Ireland.
“We must also remember the other awful tragedies across the world. In Syria alone 170,000 people have been killed, 3 million have fled their country, 9 million have been displaced internally and half of the population are in need of humanitarian aid. In Iraq sectarian tensions are continuously being inflamed and the rapid expansion of ISIS control is cause for real concern It is also appalling what is going on in Ukraine, including the downing of the Malaysian aircraft with the loss of 298 lives, among them an Irish citizen. Russian influence has been hugely destabilising in the region and I hope the EU will be able to exert greater influence on that country. I commend the sanctions agreed last week.
“These crises across the world do not detract from the appalling violence which continues in Gaza today, with the premature end of the ceasefire. I strongly believe that a two state solution is the only answer to bring about lasting peace, and it is something that the EU, UN and United States must continue to press for."