June 24th, 2008 - Pat Breen
Photographed at the recent Tripartite Forum which was held at the Historic Rhodes Castle betwwen the Israelie Knesset ,Palestinian Legislative Council and the Council of Europe were Left to right:

Mr.Ran Cohen, Member of the Knesset, Mr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the Political Committee of the PLC, Mr Pat Breen TD, Deputy Leader of the Irish Delegation of the Council of Europe, Terry Davis, Secretary General of the COE, Mr Aristotelis Pavlidis, Chairman of the Middle East Committee COE.  



A Meeting of the Tripartite Forum on the Middle East, organised by the Sub-Committee on the Middle East of the political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was held recently in Rhodes. This Meeting brought together members of the Knesset, The Palestinian Legislative Council and PACE.Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen who is deputy leader of the Irish Delegation to the Council of Europe and member of the Political Affairs Committee was in attendance.
The Forum provided participants with a platform for an exchange of views on what actions could be taken at the parliamentary level to stop the violence and terrorism, to support the Middle East peace process, to end the occupation and contribute to a two-state solution. In that context it addressed the issues of human rights and effective democracy, including confidence-building measures as well as questions related to concrete fields of co-operation.
“This was the first time such an eminent group from both Israel and Palestine had formally met under European auspices and they spend time together sharing their views and listening to our experience in Europe. This is a good start.” Deputy Breen said.
Deputy Breen shared the Irish experience on the road map to peace in Northern Ireland during the Meeting “I highlighted the importance of international solidarity as we strove to advance our own peace process, the importance of building trust and ensuring fairness, justice and social inclusion while recognising human rights on both sides. I also spoke of the need to be inclusive and the value of listening to all views.” Deputy Breen commented that the entire process required energy and a sense of purposing adding that “this energy and since of purpose has led to a new Ireland which is at peace with itself, where the two divided communities now sit side by side in Government and where North/South relations have entered a new era of cooperation.”

The Sub-Committee of the PACE is set to continue to promote direct contacts between different groups of the population on both sides in the Middle East conflict, especially on issues such as health, employment, education, sport, culture, the environment and combating the trafficking of stolen goods.

Deputy Breen will continue to be part of this evolving process with further exploratory meetings proposed for later this year.