81. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the way in which his response to Parliamentary Question No. 110 of 24 April 2018, stating that the OPCW investigation had no role in attributing the origin or ascertaining blame for the poisoning in Salisbury had a bearing on the State’s decision to expel a Russian diplomat as stated in his reply to Parliamentary Question No. 188 of 17 April 2018. (Question 19208/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Diplomatic Representation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The OPCW was requested by the UK to independently verify the toxic chemical used in the Salisbury attack. The OPCW was not investigating the circumstances of the poisoning or responsibility for it.
Following on from extensive briefings by the United Kingdom at senior official level and to EU Foreign Ministers, UK Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the European Council on 22 March 2018. She made a compelling case in sup...

110. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade further to Parliamentary Question No. 188 of 17 April 2018, the information he referred to from the OPCW investigation that had relevance to apportioning responsibility for the poisoning of persons (details supplied) to the Russian Government. (Question 17984/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Diplomatic Representation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): As the Deputy may be aware, the United Kingdom invited the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to independently verify their analysis of the toxic chemical used in the Salisbury attack.
The UK requested the assistance of the OPCW under Article VIII, Subparagraph 38(e) of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which provides for the Technical Secretariat to provide technical assistance and technical eval...

166. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the efforts being made to contact the authorities in Northern Ireland to have the missing body parts of a person (details supplied) returned to the family for appropriate burial with the rest of their body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15217/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Location of Victims’ Remains)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I recently met with the family in the case referred to by the Deputy. I subsequently tasked officials in my Department with engaging with the relevant authorities in Northern Ireland in relation to the issue. My Department will keep the family informed as to the progress of these efforts.
As the Deputy will appreciate, this is a private and most difficult matter for the family and direct contact will therefore be maint...

178. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps he has taken or will take to ensure that the Israeli authorities are contacted to express the opposition of the Houses of the Oireachtas to the continued use of administrative detention of Palestinian Legislative Council members who have been arrested and detained without being convicted of an offence in a manner which is in violation of all human rights standards and agreements under international law. (Question 15391/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 178, 181 and 184 together.
The 132 members of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) were elected in 2006 for a four year mandate. The PLC has not held a regular session since 2007 and its mandate has since expired. I regret that it has not been possible to hold long overdue elections. I note that there are currently twelve members of the PLC currently held in Israeli jails with nine of...

179. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the diplomatic steps he has taken against Israel in order to express the Irish population’s outrage at the slaughter of civilians in Gaza and its ongoing consistent and flagrant breaches of international law. (Question 15587/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Middle East Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 179, 182, 183, 185, 190, 193 and 194 together.
I have been greatly concerned by the events in Gaza over recent weeks, and especially by the appalling number of serious injuries and deaths to people engaged in demonstrations.
Every country is entitled to defend its border, but the use of force, and particularly deadly force, must only be used as a last resort and should be proportionate to...

188. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on whether the decision to expel a Russian diplomat from Ireland was premature and unwarranted (details supplied); if he will be apologising to the Russian ambassador; the steps he will take to repair Irish-Russian relations in the wake of the expulsion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15836/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Diplomatic Representation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Following on from extensive briefings by the United Kingdom at senior official level and to EU Foreign Ministers, Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the European Council on 22 March. She made a compelling case in support of her government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with a military-grade nerve agent, and t...

63. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has received the findings of the most recent EU review of the impact of sanctions on Syria (details supplied); the date on which the review was received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11058/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - Syrian Conflict)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 63, 68, 85 and 97 together.
I am aware of the letter to which Deputy Kenny refers. The situation in Syria is indeed unconscionable, and I take this opportunity to reiterate my unreserved condemnation of the barbarous violence against civilians that has been the hallmark of this conflict to date. The brutal repression of dissent by the Assad regime, which has included use of chemical weapo...

33. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will contact the Israeli Prime Minister and bring to his attention that while he condemned Iran at the Munich Security Conference on 18 February 2018 in relation to an incursion (details supplied) that in the period from 1 July to 30 October 2017, Israel violated Lebanon’s airspace 758 times for a total of 3,188 hours and that since 2012, Israeli aircraft have violated Syrian sovereignty on roughly 100 occasions in the course of bombing targets in Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11916/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Foreign Conflicts)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The persistence of Israeli flights over Lebanon has from time to time been raised with Israel by Irish Ministers and officials, particularly in the context of discussing issues surrounding Ireland’s deployment of troops with UNIFIL. I am also aware, of course, that both Lebanon and Syria remain officially in a state of war with Israel, with the most serious recent conflict taking place in 2006. Attacks have been launch...

27. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to make a case within the EU against entering new contracts with Israel until the Palestinian occupation is ended; and his further plans to push for support for BDS until Israel withdraws from Palestine in accordance with EU resolutions. (Question 11689/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Middle East Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The EU’s position on Israel’s occupation of Palestine is clear and known to the Israeli government. In December EU Foreign Ministers had the opportunity to reiterate this during an informal breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel before the Foreign Affairs Council.The EU side used the meeting to underline to PM Netanyahu our key concerns about the Middle East Peace Process and the occupation, including...

28. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will use his influence diplomatically at all international levels to persuade Greece and Cyprus to withdraw from their planned agreement with Israel for the supply of gas. (Question 11690/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - International Agreements)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The recent discovery of gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean may make a contribution to efforts to enhance Europe’s gas security of supply through diversification of routes and sources. The proposed EastMed pipeline project, which would connect East Mediterranean resources to Greece via Cyprus and Crete, could contribute to the aim of creating a single European market for gas and a reliable and safe transmission ne...

29. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the steps he will take with the British authorities and his EU counterparts in relation to the violation of human rights and the rule of law in relation to the detention of a person (details supplied) without allegation or evidence of wrongdoing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11692/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am aware of the case to which the Deputy refers and my officials in the Belfast Secretariat monitor this and other cases as part of their ongoing work on prison issues generally in Northern Ireland. The person concerned was detained in March 2016 when the release licence granted to him under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement was revoked by the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers. The c...

139. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of military aircraft that requested to land at an airport here in 2017; and the number that were granted permission to land, by month, country of origin and the airport they landed at. (Question 9339/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Military Aircraft)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together.
The Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order gives the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade primary responsibility for the regulation of activity, both landing in the State and overflying the State, by foreign military aircraft. During 2017, my Department received 515 requests for landings by military aircraft at airports in Ireland. Of the 515 landing requ...

140. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of military aircraft that passed through Irish airspace without landing at an airport here in 2017, by month and country of origin. (Question 9340/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Military Aircraft)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together.
The Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order gives the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade primary responsibility for the regulation of activity, both landing in the State and overflying the State, by foreign military aircraft. During 2017, my Department received 515 requests for landings by military aircraft at airports in Ireland. Of the 515 landing requ...

125. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of secondees from companies (details supplied) that are working in his Department. (Question 5835/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Departmental Staff Data)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): There are no secondees from the companies named in the Deputy’s question working in my Department.
 ...

7. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the suspension by Norway of arms sales to the UAE; and if he will discuss this suspension with his EU counterparts with a view to agreeing to pursue a similar EU wide suspension of arms sales to the UAE and other members of the Saudi led coalition attacking Yemen. (Question 3665/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Arms Trade)

Deputy Clare Daly: In December of last year, Norway suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates, UAE, as a precaution because of its concern over the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, not because of any of its military exports had actually been used. When we raised this issue before, the then Minister, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, referred to trade missions and all the rest of it. That is unacceptable. I am wondering whether we can follow the lead of the Norwegians and advoc...

162. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will make a representation to the Israeli authorities in view of the incarceration of a person (details supplied); his views on the abuse of human rights and the illegal and extreme nature of the person’s arrest in a midnight raid on the person’s home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1637/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Human Rights Cases)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 141, 142 and 162 together.
The overall human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the treatment of children in detention, remains a matter of concern. Ireland has repeatedly drawn attention to concerns regarding the treatment of Palestinian prisoners. We have paid particular attention over recent years to issues related to the detention of minors....

163. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the move by the Israeli state to blacklist and ban members of human rights groups, including a group (details supplied) in an undemocratic and aggressive manoeuvre to prevent them from entering Israeli-occupied Palestine; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1638/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 163 and 164 together.
The Government does not support a policy of “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions”, or BDS, in relation to Israel. I firmly believe that such an approach is counter-productive, and that it will not help to increase ordinary Israelis’ understanding of the sound basis for international concern about the impact of occupation.
In relation to the decision taken by Israel to exc...

30. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the continued imposition of sanctions on Syria, in particular their utility in forcing regime change in that country. (Question 53196/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Syrian Conflict)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Wallace has been given permission to take Parliamentary Question No. 30.
 ...

57. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a review of the effectiveness and utility of economic sanctions placed on other states as a tool of coercive diplomacy is under way or planned by his Department. (Question 53197/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Economic Sanctions)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): Restrictive measures, also referred to as ‘sanctions’, are legally binding measures which may be taken against individuals, entities or countries. Such measures can cover a variety of elements including financial services (e.g. asset freezes), immigration (visa and travel bans) and trade (e.g. export restrictions).
The objective in adopting sanctions is to bring about a change in policy and/ or behaviour by the target o...

70. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to meet the NATO Secretary General. (Question 53354/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Ministerial Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I currently have no plans to meet with NATO’s Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg. 
 ...

110. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to review the use of Shannon Airport by the US military in view of the supporting role played by the United States in the war in Yemen and the violations of human rights taking place in that country as a consequence of that war. (Question 53035/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Shannon Airport Facilities)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Air Navigation (Foreign Military Aircraft) Order 1952 gives the Minister for Foreign Affairs primary responsibility for the regulation of activity by foreign military aircraft in Ireland. In this context, permission for foreign military aircraft to land at Irish airports is given only on condition that the aircraft are unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition or explosives and do not engage in intelligence gathering, and ...

111. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to make his views known to the Saudi Arabian authorities in view of the human rights violations being committed by Saudi Arabia in Yemen and his acknowledgement of same; and if continued trade with Ireland is dependent on the cessation of such violations of the human rights of the citizens of Yemen by Saudi Arabia. (Question 53036/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Human Rights)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I remain extremely concerned about the current situation in Yemen, as the humanitarian situation has reached crisis point. The war is now in its third year, the political process has stalled, and the fighting is having devastating consequences for civilians, with credible allegations of violations of international humanitarian law. Yemen is also facing the world’s fastest-growing cholera epidemic. The recent death of ...

93. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the circumstances in which the Israeli Prime Minister invited himself to the upcoming European Summit and if the Palestinian representative will also be invited; and his plans to raise with the Israeli Prime Minister the human rights abuses, breaches of international laws, illegal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, the Syrian Golan Heights and illegal extraction and theft of Syrian oil from the Syrian Golan Heights. (Question 52175/17 asked on 06 Dec 2017 - Middle East Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): EU High Representative Mogherini has invited Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel to meet with EU Foreign Ministers at a breakfast meeting on 11 December, taking advantage of the fact that many Foreign Ministers may have arrived for the Foreign Affairs Council which will follow later that day. The possibility of inviting both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas to Brussels for such discussions has been under consi...

224. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will liaise with the Turkish Embassy in Dublin and with the Turkish Government in Ankara with a view to using all possible diplomatic means to help the return of 54 missing children (details supplied) and the return of the bodies of those missing children that may have died; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49949/17 asked on 28 Nov 2017 - Foreign Conflicts)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The attack on a convoy of busses transporting evacuees from the besieged towns of Foua and Kefraya in North West Syria last April, which left over 100 people dead, many of them children, was utterly abhorrent and I, once again, condemn it unreservedly. Attacks on civilians in Syria, such as the bombing of this convoy of evacuees, further underline the need for full accountability for these appalling acts. Those responsible for such c...

109. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade further to Parliamentary Question No. 18 of 16 November 2017, if Ireland is in breach of the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty by continuing to permit the export of arms to Saudi Arabia in view of the fact that he has acknowledged that Saudi Arabia is committing gross violations of human rights in Yemen. (Question 49753/17 asked on 23 Nov 2017 - Arms Trade)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I am extremely concerned about the situation in Yemen, the suffering of civilians there, and the humanitarian crisis which the war has triggered. Ireland has raised with Saudi Arabia on numerous occasions its concerns about the situation in Yemen. In November 2016, my predecessor, Minister Flanagan, raised concerns about the appalling humanitarian situation in Yemen, and about attacks which have directly impacted on civilians, with...