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Bairbre de Brún to hold meeting with new Palestinian Ambassador in Dublin

20 January, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún and the party's Dail Leader Deputy Caoimghin O' Caolain will meet with the new Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland Dr Hikmat Ajjuri in Dublin this afternoon.

Ms de Brún also announced that she will be travelling to Palestine on Monday 23rd January as an international observer for the legislative elections scheduled for 25 January 2006.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Today's meeting with the new Palestinian Ambassador is an opportunity to meet with the Palestinian Authorities' new representative in Ireland Dr Hikmat Ajjuri and to discuss the current political climate in Palestine.

"It also provides both my colleague Caoimghin O' Caolain and I with the opportunity to brief Dr Ajjuri on the current state of the Irish peace process and the potential for progress in the time ahead.

"I will be travelling to Palestine on the 23rd January to act as an international observer during the legislative elections on January 25th. I will travel with other colleagues from the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament. The fact that Palestine has requested international observers is a clear indication that the situation in the Middle East remains in flux. In late October 2004 I met with a Palestinian delegation to the European Social Forum who spoke about Israeli interference in the proposed electoral process through the closure of some voter registration offices.

"Part of my responsibility will be to observe the electoral process and to ascertain whether or not the election has been held in a free and fair manner, free from intimidation." ENDS

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