Minister Cowen meets Israeli Foreign Minister
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., had a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Mr. Silvan Shalom in Brussels today. The two Ministers were attending the meeting of the European Union- Israel Association Council.
Their bilateral discussions covered Ireland's forthcoming Presidency of the European Union, relations between Ireland and Israel and the situation in the Middle East. The Minister assured the Israeli side of Ireland's deep and sympathetic interest in the search for a solution to the conflict. He said that Ireland looked forward to representing the European Union in the international Quartet, which is promoting the roadmap for peace.
Minister Cowen visited the Middle East in late June but was unable to meet Israeli Ministers due to their policy of refusing to meet foreign dignitaries who called on Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.