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Ireland seeking review of EU-Israel agreement over rights concerns

February 1, 2024 at 7:16 pm

Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar in Brussels, Belgium on October 17, 2019. [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

Ireland is in talks with other EU members who want a review of the EU-Israel Association Agreement on the basis that Israel may be breaching the agreement’s human rights clause, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told reporters in Brussels on Thursday, Reuters reports.

A number of EU States are also talking about a possible joint recognition of a Palestinian State after the current conflict, he said.

“EU-Israeli relations are founded on an agreement which has a human rights clause, and a lot of us believe that Israel may be in breach of it,” Varadkar told reporters following an EU summit. “That’s something we’re talking about.”

“There isn’t full agreement, but it’s something I called for today, and I called for last December.”

Ireland has long been a champion of Palestinian rights, and ministers have repeatedly said the government is considering recognising a Palestinian State. Speaking at the end of the EU summit, Varadkar said there were a lot of “very like-minded countries” around the EU table.

“Another thing we are talking about is recognition. That a number of EU States acting together to recognise Palestine could allow a more equal negotiation to happen after the war has ended in Gaza in and around a two-state solution,” he said.

READ: EU urges members to impose ‘consequences’ on Israel