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Varadkar willing to consider 'different approach' to secure Ibrahim Halawa's freedom

Halawa has spent almost four years in jail without trial.

Nosayba (left) and Somaia Halawa, sisters of Ibrahim Halawa, on Grafton Street in Dublin's city centre,
Nosayba (left) and Somaia Halawa, sisters of Ibrahim Halawa, on Grafton Street in Dublin's city centre,
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

LEO VARADKAR HAS said he is willing to consider a different approach to secure the freedom of Ibrahim Halawa.

Halawa has spent almost four years in jail without trial. Recently, the Irish government said it has stepped up its diplomatic efforts to secure his release.

His next trial date is set for Tuesday, 4 July.

In her talks with the new Fine Gael leader, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said she wants more to be done.

She said despite the good work by department officials and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan, a new approach was needed by the Irish government in order to reach its goal.

Speaking to reporters today, Varadkar said he had a “good discussion” with Zappone on the matter.

We both agreed that it is evident the approach taken to date has not been successful, notwithstanding the best efforts of the diplomats of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the ministers and the outgoing Taoiseach.
This is an Irish citizen who is being detained without trial now for three years so I don’t think anyone can deny that the approach to date has not yet been successful.
I did say I would be willing to consider a different approach.

5512 Leo Varadkar_90514299 Fine Gael Leader and Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar. Source: RollingNews.ie

Varadkar said he would need to be fully briefed on whatever other approach is agreed upon.

He said he would have to “consider the pluses and minuses of a different approach”.

I think it is fair to say that Minister Zappone and I are on the same page on that… we want this Irish citizen that is being detained without trial to be released.

The Social Protection Minister, who is soon to become the next Taoiseach, said he also needs to ensure that any change in their actions are not “counter productive”.

Read: Leo says he won’t be ‘best friends’ with Micheál Martin but it’s time to start afresh>

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