Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 695 No. 1

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  83.  Deputy Arthur Morgan  Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if he will instigate an investigation into a company’s (details supplied) acquisition of a 25% stake in the Nesher Cement Company. [41978/09]

  89.  Deputy Ulick Burke  Information on Ulick Burke  Zoom on Ulick Burke   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the measures the EU is taking to prevent further Jewish settlements in the West Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41871/09]

  97.  Deputy Arthur Morgan  Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if he will meet with the Israeli Ambassador to highlight the Irish people’s opposition to the building of illegal settlements in Jerusalem. [41977/09]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Micheál Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  I propose to answer Questions Nos. 83, 89 and 97 together.

The Government has made very clear our strong condemnation of the continued building of settlements anywhere in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem. This [152]process is illegal, and involves of its very nature the continual expropriation of Palestinian land and the eviction of Palestinian families and demolition of their homes. I believe it is one of the principal drivers of the continuing conflict and, regrettably, it is one which has been created by the deliberate policy of the Israeli authorities. This position has been consistently conveyed to the Government of Israel at every opportunity, including by myself to the Ambassador and directly to Israeli Ministers. We will continue to do so.

The EU has consistently stated that it regards all such settlements to be illegal, and has called on the Israeli authorities to prevent their construction. The EU has also made clear that it regards all territory beyond the 1948 Green Line as belonging to the future Palestinian State, subject only to mutually agreed changes.

I do not propose to establish an investigation into the shareholding referred to by the Deputy, which dates back several years. As I understand it, the Irish company owns a minority shareholding in the Nesher Cement Company. Nesher, for its part, is engaged in the manufacture of cement, and has no control over where that cement is used. The question of investments by the Irish company is a matter for the Board and the shareholders of that company.


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