Varadkar and Borne call for ‘renewed political process’ for Israel-Gaza peace

Irish premier Leo Varadkar and French prime minister Elisabeth Borne have called for a “renewed political process” to end the conflict in Gaza.

The leaders discussed energy co-operation and transport as well as current international issues during a bilateral meeting in Dublin.

Ms Borne’s visit coincides with the 225th anniversary of the Year of the French – L’annee des Francais – when forces of the French Republic sailed from La Rochelle to help the Irish rebellion for independence in 1798.

She was joined by several other French ministers who met their Irish counterparts.

Speaking to the media at a joint press conference following the bilateral meeting in Dublin, Mr Varadkar said: “We discussed the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We urgently need a ceasefire that can allow for supplies desperately needed and allow EU passport-holders – that want to – to leave safely.

Prime Minister of France visit to Ireland
French prime minister Elisabeth Borne (Norma Burke/PA)

“We also discussed the hostage situation. Hostages must be released immediately without precondition.

“Ultimately, peace will only be secured for Israel and for Palestine through a renewed political process leading to a two-state solution, both secure and both viable.

“Global and regional leaders need to put their full weight behind securing such an outcome and I welcome the leadership shown by (French President Emmanuel) Macron in recent weeks.

“The international community has neglected this conflict since 2008, and that has been a terrible mistake.”

Ms Borne said France is calling for a humanitarian pause in Gaza and “working towards a ceasefire”.

Speaking at joint press conference with Irish premier Mr Varadkar in Dublin, Ms Borne said: “We must do everything we can to ensure foreign aid can get into the Gaza Strip.

“The only path for peace is to relaunch a political process which will guarantee security for Israel and create a Palestinian state.

“This is a position we (France and Ireland) share.”