Tánaiste to visit World Holocaust Remembrance Centre as part of Middle East tour

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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin will visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre, in Jerusalem on Tuesday ahead of talks with his Israeli counterpart and others as part of his visit to the Middle East.

Mr Martin is visiting Israel as well as the occupied Palestinian territory and Jordan as part of his tour, which concludes Friday. He plans to hold a courtesy call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as meet with President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Affairs Minister Eli Cohen.

Mr Martin is also due to speak at an Israeli Council on Foreign Relations event on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, Mr Martin will visit a West Bank school before later meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In Jordan on Thursday, engagements will include a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. 

It will be the Tánaiste’s first visit to the country since Ireland opened its new embassy in Amman. The Tánaiste last visited the region during his previous stint as Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2008.

It is the first visit by an Irish government minister since Simon Coveney came on a similar itinerary in late 2021. The visit comes amidst heightened tensions in the region this year, and Mr Martin said there had been a “worrying escalation in violence over recent months”.

Speaking ahead of his visit, the Tánaiste said that Ireland had been consistent in its calls for the protection of civilians and the application of international law. He said his visit would allow the opportunity to discuss directly these issues with political leaders, as well as Ireland’s civil society partners.

In Jordan, meanwhile, he said he was looking forward to seeing the strengthened relationship between the countries, including Ireland’s support for the Jordan Young Scientist Programme. “Jordan also hosts a significant number of refugees from Syria, Palestine and elsewhere. I will meet with refugee families and UN partners and reiterate Ireland’s continuing support,” he said.