Minister Dermot Ahern welcomes Egyptian Foreign Minister on Official Visit to Dublin
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D., this evening welcomed Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, to Dublin at the start of his first official visit to Ireland. The Ministers held discussions at a working dinner in Iveagh House, focusing on the development of Ireland's political and economic links with Egypt, the Middle East Peace Process, developments in the region, including Iraq, and relations between the EU and Egypt.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Ahern stated:
“I have had regular contact with Minister Aboul Gheit over the past year, primarily as a result of his important role in the Middle East Peace Process. I hope that his official visit – the first by an Egyptian Foreign Minister since 1982 – will help boost our bilateral relations at all levels. We have had a good discussion on the potential for closer economic cooperation. I particularly welcomed the resumption of Irish beef shipments to Egypt this week following the agreement reached in August on a Protocol for Irish beef exports to Egypt.
In relation to the Middle East Peace Process, President Mubarak and Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit have been playing a critical role with the parties to ensure that Israel's disengagement from Gaza is a first step in the renewal of efforts to agree a lasting and peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are agreed that this will only be possible through full implementation by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority of their commitments under the Roadmap. Ireland and our partners in the EU will play their part in support of the process in the period ahead.
Given Egypt's leading role in the region, we also discussed developments in Iraq, in the light of the constitutional referendum to be held on 15 October, the situation in Syria and Lebanon and developments in Sudan.”
10th October 2005