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Ó Snodaigh calls for Oireachtas Committee meeting to examine EU agreements with Israel

6 January, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Sinn Féin International Affairs and Human Rights Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has today written to the respective Chairpersons of the Oireachtas Committees on European Affairs and European Scrutiny to ask for meetings to be convened in order to examine whether Israel's current actions in Gaza are in breach of its agreements with the EU which underpin substantial privileges for Israel including preferential trade.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Israel enjoys many privileges which are underpinned by its agreements with the EU including the Barcelona Declaration which obliges signatories to respect the territorial integrity and unity of each of the other partners, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Agreement which obliges Israel to abide by generally recognised principles of international law and the Association Agreement article 2 of which makes preferential trade conditional on Israel respecting human rights and democratic principles.

"Each of these agreements now needs to be scrutinised by the Oireachtas to examine whether Israel's current actions in Gaza breach the terms and conditions. I believe any logical examination of the facts will show that Israel is in breach of the terms and conditions of the agreements on a daily basis and their privileges must be suspended as a result.

"With that in mind I have today written to the respective Chairpersons of the Oireachtas Committees on European Affairs and European Scrutiny and asked for urgent meetings to be convened to undertake this examination. It is my hope that an Oireachtas committee will provide the government with a clear mandate to pursue the suspension of preferential trade with Israel at an EU level.

"It is clear that tough words from international leaders are having no impact on Israel's intentions in Gaza. Action needs to be taken in order to force them into a ceasefire and an end to the slaughter of innocent Palestinian people." ENDS

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