Taoiseach calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as international leaders meet in France

Taoiseach calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as international leaders meet in France

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar is among a raft of international leaders who are attending a one-day conference in Paris today on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

The International Conference on Humanitarian Assistance for the Civilian Population in Gaza has been convened by French President Emannuel Macron and will address the need for humanitarian aid in Gaza as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Varadkar said: “The situation in Gaza is critical.

“We urgently need a humanitarian ceasefire and a significant scaling up of humanitarian access and supplies to get vital aid to people there.”

He added: “I thank President Macron for convening this important conference because decisive action is needed.”

The goal of the conference is to “mobilise the main actors involved in the humanitarian response in Gaza, including States, donors, international organisations and NGOs, and take concrete action to assist Palestinian civilians in the territory”.

The Taoiseach has confirmed that he will also seek to engage with leaders from the region on how to assist Irish citizens wishing to leave Gaza safely.

“Leaders will discuss how we can better respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza, particularly in terms of health, food, water, medicines and electricity,” Mr Varadkar said.

“Ireland has already committed an additional €13 million to help the people of Gaza, and we want to do more,” he added.

“I will engage with leaders from Europe, the Middle East and further afield to see how Irish citizens wishing to leave Gaza can do so safely.

“I will also meet with agencies working in Gaza, including UNRWA and the Red Cross, to hear firsthand about the situation.”