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Adams calls on Kenny to recognise State of Palestine

4 November, 2014 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has asked the Taoiseach to follow the recent example of Sweden and recognise the State of Palestine.

Addressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil today, Gerry Adams said:

“Recently the Swedish Government and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced that it is to recognise the state of Palestine. This makes Sweden the first long-term EU member state to do so. In light of this progressive step, will the Irish Government now move to do the same?”

The Sinn Fein Leader also called on the Taoiseach to upgrade the Palestinian Mission in Ireland.

He said the moves would send a strong message to the beleaguered people of Gaza in the midst of the devastation caused by Israel's onslaught over recent times.

Mr Adams said:

“The Irish Government does not afford the Palestinian Mission the same privileges and immunities, exemptions and facilities as granted to other diplomatic missions in Dublin, pursuant to the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

 “Taoiseach, I have raised this previously with you and with your Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan. I remain unsatisfied by your answers.”

Gerry Adams said he had recently met with Dr. Mohammed Maqadma, the UN Relief and Works Agency Chief for the Medical Field Programme in Gaza:

“Dr Maqadma was in Ireland for a SIPTU Health Division conference and I was very glad to have the opportunity to meet with him and to hear at first hand of his experiences and those in Gaza, in the aftermath of the recent Israeli onslaught.

“Dr Maqadma painted a very bleak picture of the reality of life in Gaza. He said that UN schools are continuing to house a very large number of people who have become homeless and that they are under serious pressure. He also said that there is an extreme lack of medical supplies in the region.”

He outlined UNRWA’s plan and strategic response to supporting those living in the Gaza strip. They are seeking 1.6 billion US dollars for emergency relief, early recovery and reconstruction priorities in the Gaza Strip. He said that the most critical interventions are shelter repair and reconstruction, which would cost in the region of over USD 600 million.

Mr Adams called on the Taoiseach to commit to assisting the UN and UNWRA’s efforts in rebuilding Gaza, and to maintain pressure to lift the blockade on Gaza.

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