Government announces €200,000 in funding for EU Border Assistance Mission in Gaza
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., and the Minister for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Mr. Conor Lenihan T.D., today announced that the Government will provide €200,000 in funding for the EU Border Assistance Mission in Rafah, which was launched today by the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) meeting in Brussels.
Speaking at the GAERC, Minister Ahern said “I am delighted to be in a position to announce this significant Irish support for the new EU mission to monitor the border crossing on the Gaza – Egypt border, and to develop Palestinian capacity in border management. The launch of the mission today will enable the re-opening of border crossings in Gaza this month, in implementation of the important agreement reached last week between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Progress on the free movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza is essential if the people of Gaza are to benefit fully from Israeli disengagement. Ireland and our partners in the EU will continue to work with the parties to ensure that they take advantage of the situation following disengagement to ensure a return to the implementation of the Roadmap for a lasting settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I was also pleased to announce at the Council today that Ireland will be contributing personnel to the new EU police training mission in the Palestinian Territories, which will begin work on 1 January 2006”.
Minister of State Lenihan said “I am satisfied that this contribution by Ireland will reinforce the substantial international efforts underway to assist the Palestinian people and to work with the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government for a peaceful and lasting settlement of the conflict. Today's decision brings the Government's total assistance to the Palestinians to over €4 million in 2005”.
21 November 2005