Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., on the death of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat
I was deeply saddened to learn today that President Yasser Arafat has passed away in Paris. My thoughts and condolences go out to the Palestinian people and to President Arafat’s wife and daughter. In Yasser Arafat’s death, the Palestinian people have lost a unifying figure of unique importance. His role in the struggle for Palestinian statehood has been unparalleled, an achievement most visibly underlined in the Nobel Peace Prize he shared with the late Yitzhak Rabin. Tragically, neither of these men lived to see the vindication of their vision of two states, Israeli and Palestinian, living side by side in peace and security. His colleagues and friends in the Palestinian leadership will now have to shoulder a heavy responsibility in carrying this vision to its fruition. Ireland, in common with its partners in the EU stands ready to support them fully in their efforts.
The Government will be represented at senior political level at the funeral.