|The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D., has welcomed the statement by the international Quartet following their meeting in New York. He stressed the importance of the early establishment of a temporary international mechanism which can ensure direct delivery of assistance to the Palestinian people.
Speaking in Tokyo today, the Minister said:
“I welcome the emphasis which the Quartet have placed on the continuing commitment of the international community to a negotiated two-State solution, based on the principles and steps set out in the Roadmap. It is essential that the Hamas Government take steps urgently to commit to the peace process. However, the Palestinian people should not have to face the prospect of a humanitarian crisis as a result of their Government's reluctance to renounce violence, recognise Israel and abide by agreements negotiated by the Palestinian Authority.
I welcome the decision to establish a temporary international mechanism for the direct delivery of assistance to the Palestinian people. The EU will meet its responsibilities, and will take the lead in the development of this mechanism. The EU has already called on Israel to resume transfers of withheld Palestinian tax and customs revenues. It is important that the Israeli Government makes use of the international mechanism in order to resume these vital transfers as soon as possible.”