Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is meeting with representatives from Arab and Islamic States to discuss the situation in the Middle East.
He is meeting jointly with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and a group of Arab Ambassadors to Ireland, to emphasise Ireland’s position on the conflict and get further views on the situation.
Mr Varadkar will thank the Ambassadors for their countries’ support in helping Irish citizens to leave Gaza.
He will also ask for their Governments’ continued assistance in helping to secure the release of Emily Hand.
The nine-year-old Irish-Israeli girl is believed to be among a number of Hamas hostages and was previously assumed dead.
Gaza ‘deteriorating rapidly’
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Varadkar said there should be a humanitarian ceasefire now.
“I’m looking forward to this opportunity to speak directly with representatives from the region and also from throughout the Islamic world,” he said.
“The situation in Gaza is deteriorating rapidly.
“The Government’s position is that there should be a humanitarian ceasefire to be observed by all sides to allow aid to get into Gaza, allow hostages to be released, and further EU citizens to leave if they so wish.
“I will also raise the case of Emily Hand who we believe remains a hostage in Gaza,” he added.
The Government has strongly condemned the attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7th, and has also been calling for a humanitarian ceasefire.
Ireland has also supported a Jordanian-sponsored United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the crisis, which called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israeli forces and Hamas.
The non-binding resolution passed the threshold for adoption on October 27th.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is the second largest inter-governmental organisation in the world after the UN, made up of 57 States in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South America and Europe.