Minister Cowen expresses concern about assault on Egyptian Foreign Minister
“I was deeply distressed to learn of the assault on my colleague and good friend Ahmed Maher, the Foreign Minister of Egypt, when he visited the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem late yesterday following his important discussions with Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Sharon, Foreign Minister Shalom and Labour Party Leader Peres.
This attack was a cowardly act by those who do not – or do not want to – understand the crucial importance of establishing and advancing an inclusive dialogue in advancing the cause of peace. Egyptian Diplomacy under the leadership of Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Maher has been intensely active in recent weeks in promoting a new ceasefire which is essential to efforts to resume the implementation of the Quartet's Road Map for peace in the Middle East. Foreign Minister Maher's visit to Israel was an important development in an overall process which is a priority for the entire international community and will be a central preoccupation for Ireland during the next six months of our EU Presidency.
I take this opportunity to send my best wishes to Ahmed Maher for a full and immediate recovery and to assure him of the commitment to fully support all our partners in the Middle East through contributing to dialogue and negotiations as the real and only road to peace.”