Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Niall Collins TD has confirmed that his party will support Senator Frances Black’s Occupied Territories Bill when it is debated in Seanad Éireann later this month.

Deputy Collins commented, “Fianna Fáil is fully committed to supporting efforts to secure peace in the Middle East and a two state solution.  Critical to that outcome is dealing with the issue of illegal settlements in the West Bank.

“My colleague Billy Kelleher TD and I traveled to Israel and Palestine to see at first hand the reality of what is happening on the ground before taking a view on the Occupied Territories Bill that will soon be debated in the Oireachtas.

“Having done that and having met with a wide range of agencies and groups, it is my view that Ireland passing the Occupied Territories Bill has the potential to send a strong message that the issue of illegal settlements is being taken seriously and needs to be addressed.

“I am pleased that the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party shares this view and this evening agreed to support the Bill passing to second stage in the Seanad.

“Ireland has a long history of positive engagement in the Middle East and the quest for peace.  It is my view that passage of this Bill fits comfortably in that tradition and I am pleased that Fianna Fáil will play a key role in making it happen.”